Monday, March 13, 2023

Short plants closer to the equator


Eisenhower once said that plans were of little value once the enemy was contacted but that the planning PROCESS was of huge value.

One of my consistent failures in previous years has been a casual approach to fencing out varmints like rabbits, woodchucks and deer that love to eat seedlings. A woodchuck can take a row of newly sprouted green beans down to stubs in a single sitting.

Deer are difficult to fence out but rabbits and woodchucks are very do-able.

Once I fence off the area, it behooves me to make it productive to maximize my return on the investment.

Since Eaton Rapids is at a latitude of 43 degrees, and since the earth's spin is 23 degrees from perpendicular-to-solar-orbit, the sun never comes closer than within 20 degrees of being directly overhead. At that time, it is south-of-perpendicular and short plants that are north of taller plants are partially shaded.

The fix is to plant in a wedge with the taller plants on the north end of the garden and the shorter ones on the south end. Of course, this is reversed south of the equator.

The exception is that the vining plants like pole-beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap-peas can be planted on support right next to the north fence to make picking super-easy. 

Peas can be planted early, they are a natural for a follow-up with a warm season vegetable like any of the other three. Those seeds can be planted 12" south of the pea row and will not be shaded while the last of the pea-crop is picked and eaten.

Garden map.

Garden layout.

1 comment:

  1. Almost analogous to that is what I tell people about how the grass grows on a golf course green. I tell them to look at the position of the sun and that will be the direction the grass grows in. For instance, if the sun is at your back and you're making an uphill putt, you will be putting "against the grain" and might have to hit the ball a bit harder to make it to the hole.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.