Spacing

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peter
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Re: Spacing

Postby peter » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:11 pm

As a child of the eArly sixties i can recall the potato spinner when I was young primary school age, the farm changed hands and a potato contract grower took over. Cue the ride on six person potato harvester towed by a tractor with a trailer alongside behind another tractor to collect the spuds spilling from the conveyer.
Before the farm was broken up and sold in chunks a few years ago the harvester had no one on it picking over the haul, it all went in the trailer and was sorted in a more leisurely manner in the big barn with a conveyer poking out to fill the gash trailer!
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Re: Spacing

Postby sally wright » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:49 pm

Dear All,
I suspect that many garden book and seed packet writers are not perhaps as diligent as they might be and just go to a previous book on their shelves, reiterate the spacings and general growing practices etc that the previous writers used and do not take into account changes in horticulture such as weed killers, artificial fertilizers, bigger machines and new compact seed varieties. I could go on with the changes but there are so many that have occurred in the last 50 years the face of horticulture is altered almost beyond belief.

So all I can say is stuff those plants and seeds in at the spaces you think will work; you will get a crop. It might be greater or not but you will get something from the experiment - knowledge.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Re: Spacing

Postby Tony Hague » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:41 am

I know a bit about this because of my work.

As mentioned already, it is because of hoeing and access that it became normal to drill crops in rows.

I have somewhere an agricultural seed catalogue - Sakata I think. It does list sugggested plant/row spacings, but more importantly, a range or set of ranges of plants per hectare. Light, water, space and nutients are all factors, so this will vary depending on the size you want to achieve and where you are growing. For example, in the UK cereals are typically drilled at 5"/125mm row spacings. In Australia, even 1m is not unreasonable because water availability is limiting.

Because it is a lot of work to change row spacings on your drill/transplanter/hoe whatever, it is easiest to choose a row spacing, and tweak the planting density in the row - e.g, brassica growers sometimes plant wider apart at the beginning and end of the season, but closer for mid season when the light levels are higher.

Not that this matters to the gardener - the spacings each way can be adjusted, bearing in mind the width of your hoe, but I would bear in mind keeping the overall plants per square metre something like the packet recommendation, maybe adjusting within the range for the size of onion or whatever you want to achieve.
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Re: Spacing

Postby Colin2016 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:06 pm

I noticed in the Marshall's catalogue they are using the square foot method for spacing of vegi plants.
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Re: Spacing

Postby Stephen » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:55 pm

Lots of interesting advice has been posted.
I try to keep plenty of space around the spuds so that air gets around. Planting closely allows a damp atmosphere around the foliage.
Otherwise, I concur with Sally's point that writers and suppliers just copy what has written in the past. I am astonished that neither have adapted to modern domestic growing, especially with reference to bed style cultivation rather than open field.
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Re: Spacing

Postby Primrose » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:13 pm

When you of the decades of cottage gardens where vegetables often grew mixed up with flowers and the fact that gardens are becoming ever smaller as the demand for more housing grows, I suspect non commercial gardeners will just grow what they can in whatever space is available.

I think one answer to this is to ensure your soil remains well nourished. As Sally says, you will still get a crop. My space is pretty limited but with careful soil husbandry I still, after 40 years in this garden, manage to get reasonable crops.
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Stephen
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Re: Spacing

Postby Stephen » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:17 pm

BTW: when I plant in a block, I usually plant as a "quincunx"
I couldn't remember the word but "planting in a pattern of 5" found it for me!
Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincunx
You could just call this "staggered rows"! :lol:
Last edited by Stephen on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen
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Re: Spacing

Postby Stephen » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 pm

I should also say that I realise there is a good reason to sow in a line, the foldable tunnels fit!
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