Square metre beds – update

This is a continuation of the square metre bed trials started last year. See this page for details. The crops have been rotated round the plot and the same crops planted.

It has been a difficult season with a long cold spell in spring followed by very dry weather, a warm spell and then the coldest August  for 17 years.

The only crop to really suffer was the carrots. Germination of the first sowing was poor, about 40%. Then the local pheasants attacked the bed and scratched up most of the remaining plants. The second sowing germinated well but yet again the pheasants did their best to destroy the bed. The only solution was to cover the bed with fleece which protected the survivors.

Runner beans are a reliable favourite and have produced 4.5 Kg with many more to come.

Onions were harvested yesterday producing 9kg of assorted sizes. They dids lightly better this year with a more uniform size. The planting density was higher as offset rows were not used. Of the 64 sets planted 63 survived. The average weight was 142.86 gms compared to 126 gms in 2009.

The salad bed produced 9 lettuces with a total weight of 3.8 kg which is well down on last year. Next year we plan to try a smaller variety as ‘Webbs Wonderful’ really is too large for close spacing and suffers from crowding. The lettuce were followed by 9 ‘Hispi’ cabbages of which 8 are doing well.

More on the total harvest later but things are looking good.

Final update – Overall yields for 2010

Carrots, 6.9Kg. This is down on last year and the dry and cold spring weather was responsible for the poor germination.

Onions, 9kg with an average weight of 142.86gms which is well up on last year.

Lettuce, 3.8kg which has convinced me to plant a much smaller variety next year as the bed was far too crowded again! The lettuce was followed by 9 Hispi cabbages of which 8 thrived producing 6.4kg. So the overall production from this bed was 10.2kg.

Runner beans, 8.9kg, slightly up on last year from 8 plants instead of 9.

Total production for 2010 = 35kg or 77 pounds compared to 35.40 kg or 77.80 pounds in 2009.