The small size of the beds makes it much easier to manage the crops. Carrots are notoriously susceptible to carrot root fly, the fly lays its eggs in the ground close to the top of the carrot plant and the maggots burrow into the carrot. One of the most effective ways of avoiding trouble is to cover the entire crop with fleece as soon as the seed is sown. With only a 1ft (30cm) square to protect it is easy to make suitable covers from stiff wire and horticultural fleece. You can also use ready made framed nets that are designed to keep flies off food. I found one last year in a camping shop which is just 1ft (30cm) square and a bargain at 99p.
You can also make small cloches or covers for your crops from plastic sheet or small pieces of glass. This is a good way of warming up a small area for a crop that will not tolerate cold. The more ambitious could make a cover for the whole bed.
What you can expect to get from your plot will depend on many factors not least of which is the weather. A cool, dark summer which is not good for growing neither is one that is too dry or too wet. Seasoned gardeners will tell you there are few really ideal seasons but seeds grow and they enjoy their harvests all the same!
If you have the space you can increase the number of beds you have. You do not need to stick to growing 16 separate crops in each bed. By using more squares it is possible to grow large numbers of the same crop in a very small space. If you use the spacings given in the book than a whole 4ft (1.2M) square bed would grow 256 carrots or 256 onions. That might be asking too much and I would suggest increasing the spacing to at least 4 inches (10cm) for carrots or even 6 inches (150cm) for onions. Greater spacing would help improve ventilation in the bed which should reduce fungal diseases ike mildew.The best advice is to experiment and see what works for you in your garden.
|Here are 16 onions growing in a 1ft (30cm) square. The photograph
was taken just before harvest after the tops had been removed.
|This is part of an experimental 4ft (1.2m) bed containing 256 onions.