Suggestions for suitable plants
Most allotments are approximately four meters by two meters or eight square meters. This size restricts the number and types of plants to grow on your allotment. Smart choices as to the type and number of plants you grow will result ina more satisfying harvest.
When you first receive the allotment, it is usually empty, ready for you to fill with plants. It is easy at this stage to go overboard and plant too many seedlings. This results in overcrowding and smaller vegetables produced.
So what should I plant? Carrots, eggplants, tomatoes, lettuce, asian greens, clumping sweet potato, beans (on a suitable trellis), corn and herbs are popular choices among allotment holders. Or why not try something adventurous by planting exotic plants such as Ethiopian cabbage, Khol Rabi, Brazillian spinach or Scotch Kale.
In this Plant Care Guide you will find a lot of information to help you decide what to plant: www.garden.org/plantguide.
You can also use the Brisbane Organic Growers Inc. planting guide to know when is the best time to plant your vegestables.
Plants you should avoid
Keep in mind the size of your allotment when choosing plants. For these reasons, the following plants are not recommended:
- running plants such as pumpkins or melons. These plants can quickly spreadout over your allotment and beyond. They are a poor choice as you will have little room left on your allotment for other plants. If you choose to plant these, your neighbour is entitled to cut off any runners encroaching onto their allotment.
- large shrubs or fruit trees. Planting large shrubs or trees will cast shade over your (and your neigbours) allotment. Larger plants require a lot more water to establish than herbs and vegetables. These plants also take a long time to begin producing a harvestable crop. Will you still have the allotment when they are finally ready to fruit?
The Queensland Department of Primary Industry has published a report titled `Soil health for vegetable production in Australia`. From the summary on the web page:
"Specifically for vegetable agronomists, consultants and growers, this manual takes a holistic view of soil health, considering the interaction of physical, chemical and biological soil properties. The balance and stability of these components are what make a healthy soil."
Please limit the height of trellises to 1m. This will reduce the amount of shade cast onto neighbouring allotments. Also, trellises should be placed in a North-South allignment (ie, York St to Beelarong St) to reduce the duration of shade cast onto neighbouring allotments.
Plant seeds in from the edge so that the fully grown plant doesn't cover your neighbours allotment or pathway.
Beelarong Community Farm | Cnr Beverley and York Sts, Morningside, QLD, 4170 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0401 168 657