Design allotment garden

Posted on za 11 augustus 2018 in designs

Design strategy

We used CEAP for this design.

Note: this design is not quite finished. We have started putting elements into action before having a complete design done.

Collect information

  • Client interview / 5 W's
    • Vision
      • harvest food
      • gain experience growing food
      • relaxation, being outside
      • providing some food and habitat for wild life
      • gain social contacts
      • help organize activities
      • educate members
      • get physical excercise
    • Resources
      • plants from friends and acquaintances
      • time: 2d/week Arno, 1d/week Ina; depending on season
      • tools: from home, small ones at garden
  • Climate/Latitude/Elevation
    • Elevation: 21m
    • Climate: moderate maritime climate
    • Watershed: Dommel / Meuse (Maas)
    • Surface area: approx. 150m²
  • What's already on the land in question -- Plants, Animals, Structures, Tools and Events (PASTE)
  • Topography--mountain, rolling hills, plains...
    • slight slope, mainly flat
  • Water features--average rainfall, streams/ponds, etc.
    • Avg. rain fall: 800mm/year
    • Soil drainage: good
    • Wind: south-west
  • Legal restrictions
    • Subject to bylaws of the Volkstuinvereniging
    • Subject to restrictions because of drink water extraction by Brabant Water
  • Solar orientation
    • South-west orientation
  • Soil conditions
    • 50% sand, 49% silt, 1% clay = sandy loam
    • Mineral content unknown
    • Biological content unknown
  • Site history
    • previously wetlands
    • allotments since 1977
    • used for pumping ground water by Brabant Water (waterwingebied)

Functions and elements

Here is a list of functions and elements I thought up. Not all listed elements are possible or allowed.

  • visual appeal
    • focus on keeping garden front neat
    • use ground cover
    • use big plants
    • use perenials (shrubs and trees)
    • flowers or pumpkin field
    • maintain good relations with neighbors and allotment association
  • sitting and relaxing
    • bench
    • shelter
    • chairs
    • table
    • many flowering plants
    • keep out rain and cold wind
  • water management
    • tap with pumped ground water
    • rain water
      • store in rain barrel
      • store in pond (not allowed)
      • store in soil
    • drip irrigation
      • from bottles
      • from rain barrels
  • toilet use
    • at home
    • at the outhouse next to the caravan
    • pee in garden
    • compost toilet on site
  • seeds
    • from shop
    • from fellow gardeners
    • harvested from fruit and vegetables
    • rescued from compost pile or garbage heap
  • plants
    • from shop
    • donated plants
    • cuttings from various sources
    • rescued from compost pile or garbage heap
  • growing seedlings (voorkweken)
    • at home
    • in greenhouse
    • in cold frame (koude bak)
  • self-maintaining
    • automatic systems
    • smart design
    • use perenial plants
    • ground cover
  • biodiverse
    • insect hotel
    • bird houses
    • different plants
    • bee plants
    • polyculture
    • use edge
  • healthy food
    • fruits
    • vegetables
    • herbs
    • use weeds as vegetables
  • tool storage
    • at home
    • box or crate
    • shed
  • reuse garden waste
    • compost bin
    • hugelkultur
    • salvage from communal compost terrain
  • pest control
    • slugs
      • hedgehog
      • birds
    • insects
      • birds
      • hedgehog
      • insect hotel
    • mice and rabbits
      • cat
      • birds of prey
      • fox
    • humans
      • present a low-value target
      • confuse by scattering produce around the garden
      • confuse by combining edible with poisonous plants
    • diseases
      • healthy soil life
      • biodiversity

Evaluate the information

9 ways of observing

  • I wonder...
    • how to reduce the number of external inputs to the garden?
  • Observe energy
    • sun shines mostly unimpeded in summer. In winter, slight obstruction by tall trees
    • energy in keeping up with the garden falls as harvest season progresses - we get burnt out from all the harvesting and processing
  • Observe flow
    • flow of people on the main access path
    • main traffic in the garden is over the pavement across the middle
    • watering at the front of the garden is easier than at the back due to having to carry water containers by hand
    • the garden is quite exposed to wind blowing across it, this leads to frostbite on plant leaves in winter
  • Observe communities
    • allotment association
    • my direct neighbors use more traditional methods of soil cultivation
    • the golf course at the back of the allotment
    • a bumble bee nest in an abandoned mouse hole
    • clusters of lice in some plants
  • Observe patterns
    • at the front is sunnier than at the back
    • at the front is more public than at the back
    • in 2019 we came every two days to water the garden
    • we prefer to go to the garden late in the evening when there are less people around
    • using 75cm beds with 45cm walkways in between is very convenient
  • Observe edge
    • chicken wire along the edge of the garden: no access to rabbits
    • entrance gate at the front
    • no gate at the back
    • access to the back by jumping across the fence with the neighbors and using the back door to their garden
  • Observe limits
    • watering is by hand and only at a very low volume
    • limited amount of fertility can be brought in from outside
  • Observe from stillness
    • the garden is a joy to observe: so many different insects, bugs, beetles, bees etc. around
    • by letting annuals and bi-annuals go to flower
  • Observe past & future
    • when we started in 2019, I observed no insect activity in the garden. The soil looked dead.
    • I hope we can further enhance biodiversity in our garden
    • I hope we can inspire other people to try a different approach in their gardening

Apply Permaculture Ethics and Principles

Attitudinal principles

  • Multiple elements x multiple functions
    • greenhouse
      • for growing plants and
      • for sitting in chilly weather
      • for rain water harvesting from roof
    • paths between beds
      • for easy access to plant beds
      • to put weeded plants from the beds
      • covered with mulch to keep ground covered
      • to provide fertility and moisture to beds
  • Everything gardens
    • T.B.D.
  • The problem is the solution
    • T.B.D.
  • Yield is theoretically unlimited
    • T.B.D.
  • Work with nature
    • leave as many plants growing where they come up
    • note where plants like to grow and plant correspondingly the next year
    • mulch with what is naturally growing: chickweed, amaranth and knopkruid
    • find out what is already growing and edible
  • Minimum effort, maximum effect
    • check out community compost pile for discarded plants
    • use composted material under oak trees as mulch to add nutrients and mycillium
    • recover seeds from donated fruits and vegetables
    • put in self-seeders (annuals)
    • plant trees, shrubs and perennial vegetables
    • choose wild plants to attract solitary bees

Plan for Action

Implement

  • use knopkruid and amaranth as mulch
  • berry shrubs, fennel from Susanne
  • mint, citroenmelisse, rhubarb from Leo
  • asperges from Tjeerd
  • apple tree from neighbor and from baby boom project
  • tomatoes, chard, wolfberry, onion, pumpkin, potatoes, poppies, zinnia from previous tenant
  • gooseberry cuttings from communal compost pile (failed)
  • goudsbloem and mint from communal path
  • figs cuttings from Francesco (failed)
  • mulch small walkways with oak leaves

Planted 2019-02-23:

  • Phaseolus coccineus (runner bean / pronkboon of keverboon)
    • purple spotted bean
    • perennial vine (usually treated as annual)
    • Käferboon / Fuerbohne / Stiense pronkboon / Pronkboon paars gevlekt
    • plant distance 30-50 cm in a row, 120-140 cm between rows
    • vine can grow 3m or longer
    • plant on site, from half May 15 till end of June
    • harvest from 3rd week of August till first frost. Pods need to be harvested every week or no new pods will form
  • Borlotti bonen / Borlotti Lamon / Borlotti extra dik

Maintain

T.B.D.

Evaluate

T.B.D.