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April 21, 2010


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Wow that's an impressive plan!

My thoughts are:

How are you going to get at the veg, and weeds at the back of the plot?

And are the tomatoes going to shade anything to the left of them?



Thanks, we'll see if it turns out anything like that in reality!
Sorry I actually should have added more geographic features surrounding the plots! The rectangular plot on top of the diagram is in the backyard, with the top being roughly north-northwest, while the long plot on the bottom is along the side of the house. There is the shed to the left of the back plot, which does shade the left side of the plot a little in late afternoon.
There is access all the way around the plot (see http://bit.ly/dbANOX), and the thin strips between the sections will have boards to walk on.
Do I need to be concerned that the tomatoes will shade the chilli peppers?


I'm no expert but here http://bit.ly/cEWuvF is says:

"Most people will need to grow chillis in full sun. In the hottest, sunniest regions chillies still grow well with a bit of shade. Especially afternoon shade can even be beneficial. (The fruit can get sunburned.)"


Wow, I had no idea chillies could get sunburned! I put it in the part that gets the most direct sun, hrmmm....
I was actually wondering if I should do the chillies in pots inside, in case it wasn't hot enough this summer (last summer it got pretty cool at night in particular). That is a really good site - thanks for the link!


That is an impressive plan! You could grow salads if the tomatoes are going to cast some shadow-unless you have somewhere else for salad and I have missed them.


WOW. I'm trying to decide if I want to plant one, simple upraised bed this year! I bow at your feet. (Love the blog! You guys are living the dream. Found you on the Foodie Blogroll!)


Hi Judith,
Thanks, that is a good idea! We currently have some mixed lettuce growing in containers indoors, and yesterday I squeezed a few head lettuces I got from my neighbor on the left edge in-between the Savoy cabbages.
We hadn't originally been thinking to do much salads, but after eating our first taste we should maybe plan for some more!


Thanks Abby! This is my first year attempting a full-on plot, so perhaps my plans are a bit ambitious - we shall see! (Maybe best to reserve bowing for a later date if I actually succeed :) ). You should definitely go for a small raised bed at least - even if you just have a few of your own tomatoes it is amazing!


I think your garden plot is fantastic! Do you already have the mint in the ground or will you be planting new?
I thought this was a good article--I've dealt with out of control mint! http://desertwaterwisegardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/spring_mint


Thanks, that is a great article! The mint was already in a bed when we moved in - surrounded by thick heavy stones. It has come back already this year, but it looks like it might be starting to escape! So I do need to figure out what I'm going to do about it before it takes over (fortunately it is separate from the rest of the garden at least).


I read that you can use the back of an old TV to contain mint.

Dig a hole and put the back of the TV in then plant the min into that. The back of the TV has holes to let water in and out but not they are not big enough for the mint to get its large roots through.


Wow, now that's what I call re-using! What a great idea. When the garbage truck for large items comes around once a month there is usually an old TV sitting out on the curb somewhere...

Paul Cook

Tremendous plot and plan! Thomas Jefferson would be proud and a bit envious since his garden was at Montecello and yours is in his beloved France. I am already hungry for the fruits of your labor. Your great grandmother was a master gardener, and was particularly successful with strawberries. Her secret was sandy, well-drained soil. The patrolling geese didn't hurt either. Speaking of pest control, you might consider ringing your plot with Marigolds which repell insects (they are the natural source of pyrethrins which are found in many commercial pesticides). Did you consolidate the day lillies?



What a beautiful plan - looks idyllic - but also rather a lot of work!
We are keen on paths for walking - & beds that are just wide enough to reach over, so that you don't stand on them. It saves digging etc.. What size are your beds?
Have you considered following years? Will everything move sideways - to give you a rotation?
Good Luck!


Hi Dad, thanks! I checked out the Montecello website - it would be neat to get those seeds of the old varieties they used to grow there. Thanks so much for reminding me of the marigolds as well - I had been keeping that in the back of my mind, then completely forgot! We are planting some herbs from seed, but we might get some from the garden center that are already started, so I will be sure to pick up some marigold. And I think we have won the battle with the daylilies, but perhaps the war has just begun...fingers crossed they don't start coming back up!


Hi TopVeg - thanks so much for your feedback. Unfortunately we were trying to maximize on the space so we didn't leave much space for walking - I'm hoping our tightrope skills will improve and we manage to walk along thin boards without falling and crushing all our plants (touching wood now)!
I measured out the beds to do the plans to scale, leaving approximately 30cm per row on average, but it still looks like a lot when I look at the bed in real life. We'll see if it indeed all fits in as planned. The back bed is 4.5 x 3.5 meters and the side bed is about 7 meters long by 1.4 meters at the wide bit, narrowing down to just a meter wide where the strawberries are currently residing.
As for rotation, that was the idea, yes, to scoot everything along next year, but then I'm not sure how that works with the shade factor...none of it is super shaded, but the shed does shade the upper left-hand part of the back bed a bit in the late afternoon/evening.
Thanks again for taking the time to look at our plan!

Laura F

Salut Laura!
c'est impressionnant l'architecture de ton potager! Je montrerai ça à mon père quand je serai à Lyon.
sinon chez nous on a aussi mis la menthe dans un grand seau en pastique donc le fond a été coupé, puis le tout en pleine terre. C'est hyper pratique, on a 2 ou 3 types de menthes différentes dans un seau, ça fait une grosse touffe, pas d'envahissement. (mais on a aussi de l'envahissement dans un massif de fleurs de "vieille" menthe et je trouve ça sympa aussi).

Sinon plusieurs plantes sont toujours bonnes à associer dans un potager, comme le buis (dans les "jardins de curés" il y a des buis tout autour des carrés), les fleurs de soucis, les dahlias, et aussi toutes les aromatiques repoussent bon nombre d'insectes. Il doit y avoir d'autres fleurs mais je ne sais pas, faut que je demande à mon père ^^
Fait gaffe aux rosiers qu'ils ne te ramènent pas de l'oïdium ou autre champi/maladie sur tes cucurbitacées.
A lyon on souffre de l'oidium chaque mois d'aout, dû à la région. Mais sinon concernant les poivrons piments, en région parisienne tu as peu de risque de brulure de la plante (à Lyon, même à 40°c l'aprem les poivrons vont biens.



Laura F

je mets du basilic au pied de chaque plant de tomate de mon père (c'est moi qui gère les semis à la maison), les 2 sont complémentaires et seront mieux portantes grâce à chacune des plantes, le basilic parfumera la racine de la tomate et augmentera d'autant plus le goût des tomates. Ca marche d'enfer avec le basilic vert classique, moins avec le basilic pourpre. Vérifié et attesté dans le jardin Fernandez et puis très simple à faire.
Bon travail!

Laura F



Salut Laura!
Super conseils, merci beaucoup! Effectivement on a eu un problème avec l'oidium sur le potiron l'année dernière - je ne savais pas que c'était à cause des rosiers! J'avais prévu des concombres là pour qu'ils grimpent la barrière pour prendre moins de place, mais peut-être il vaut mieux les mettre dans l'autre carré (en installant quelque chose à grimper).
Pour le basilic j'allais le mettre près des tomates, mais je n'ai pas pensé à carrément le mettre au pied de chaque plant. Je vais certainement le faire maintenant quand je mets les tomates!
Hier j'ai planté des Soucis entre les lignes mais je n'étais pas au courant pour la bourrache - merci pour le lien. Les fleurs de la bourrache sont superbes en plus...je pense que je vais la mettre avec les aubergines.
J'ai de tendres souvenirs du jardin Fernandez :)

Laura F

oui, le basilic au pied des tomates ça marche très bien!
si tu as une solution "ecolo" pour l'oidium, n'hésite pas à me dire, car c'est vraiment une plaie dont on arrive pas à se débarrasser... Je crois que la météo est en grande partie responsable.
Mais bon si à droite à gauche qqun te donne une solution, dis moi!
Je ne sais pas si ce sont les rosiers, mais les rosiers ramènent facilement des maladies.
De toute façon l'oidium vole et il suffit qu'une plante soit atteinte pour que ça se répande facilement, en théorie il faut javelliser tous les tuteurs et bruler totalement les vieilles pousses contaminées... jamais dans le compost sinon la terre s'en empreigne.

Tes fajitas ont l'air délicieuses, as tu déjà essayé de faire les tortillas toi même? j'ai essayé avec de la farine de maïs et le résultat n'était pas très bien (tres bourratif), en tout cas ça ne vaut pas les belles galettes que j'ai vues à Mexico...



Pour l'oidium, je ne l'ai pas essayé moi-même, mais d'après ce que j'ai lu, le meilleur traitement c'est de pulveriser avec une solution de savon noir à l'huile de lin (1L savon noir à 10L d'eau). Apparement cela protège aussi contre les cochenilles, pucerons, etc. Je l'ai vu au magasin Botanic...
Sinon, plusieurs personnes suggèrent une pulvérisation avec du lait pour l'oidium: 0,5 L de lait à 4,5L d'eau, toutes les semaines. A voir si ca marche!
Merci (pour les fajitas) :) Justement je pensais à essayer de faire les tortillas moi-même, mais je crains qu'ils ne soient plus difficiles à faire qu'ils en ont l'air (ce que confirme ton expérience!). Je vais m'y prendre comme-même pour voir je pense!

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