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GroEdibles Blog

Oct 29

mar’sel/Terranea Edible Gardening Lesson #2: Planning the planting list

Posted by GeriMiller on 29 Oct 2009. Filed under  Community Outreach Sustainability Gardens, Garden Care, Planting strategies View Comments

Terranea mar'sel

Well, though our soil test hasn’t come back yet, I have my home tests which have told me that I have to boost the nitrogen in the soil. pH seems within a good (6.5-7) range; most veges like their pH in the range of 6.0-6.8 (there are exceptions). I can raise nitrogen quickly by mixing in blood meal but there are other organic amendments that are effective as well. Ok…foundation work is done so now on to the fun part – planning the planting list! This meant that it was time to meet with Mar’sel’s chef, Michael Fiorelli, to discuss his fall menu. I started putting together a ‘wish list’ of edibles which looked something like this:

Chef Fiorelli, as the rest of the staff I’d met, was extremely supportive of the rejuvenation of the garden and all that it meant to his work. “My inspiration comes from farmers who dedicate their lives to respecting the earth and their local communities. A great dish starts with the freshest seasonal ingredients.” Chef explained in a recent interview.
This collaboration being completed, I rounded out the planting plan to include kitchen staples as well. Here is the final planting list. I’ve included the planting distance and each plant’s companions, allies and enemies.  In my small-space gardens, I use a bio-intensive planting plan combining strategies such as companion and succession planting.

Now, to draw up the planting plot plans. You can do this several ways. Many people use graph paper and pencil to hand-draw their plans which is what I do for my native garden designs. Another way for those of you who enjoy using your computer is using your Excel program to design your plot plan.  There are also online free planning tools like the one from  For HGEL clients, I use whose features like crop rotation, biointensive garden spacing tool and plant library make it a very powerful resource.

I’m looking forward to our installation days 10/30/09 and 10/31/09 (8am-11am) and to meeting our wonderful HGEL volunteers:
Lola Clark, Davey Monzon, Linda Nietes, and Kevin Dorman.  I’ll post the pictures of the installation in the next blog.  Until then…happy gardening!

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