Garden Layout for Seed Saving, Part 2: Nightshades

| 6/25/2014 9:54:00 AM

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any busier with planting the seed gardens, it was time to cut the hay. I’m not really in charge of hay cutting at Twin Oaks, but I am in charge of hayfield fertility and re-seeding. I care about getting the hay in before the rain. It is my job to fill in when needed, to help coordinate people, and to worry. I don’t cut or bale the hay (I’ve carefully avoided learning), but I do rake, deliver fuel, drive the flatbed dump truck, and help load the barn under threat of thunder. We got a really good harvest this time, 206 round bales, and we got it all in the barn before the rain. I credit the good productivity to the re-seeding we did in fall of 2012 with a no-till drill we rented from a neighbor. I also think it helped that we gave the fields a rest last year.

I live at Twin Oaks, which is an income-sharing intentional community of 100 people in Louisa County, Virginia. We use the hay to feed our dairy and beef cows, which we raise for our own food (not to sell).

Anyway, on Monday morning it was time to hit it hard with the final stages of planting the seed gardens, and I’d spent the whole weekend racing around dealing with hay. Not ideal, but I think I’m getting through it ok. Pretty much everything is planted, and we’re now busy with the hoeing, cultivating, staking, caging and irrigating.

This is me with a seed crop of Arkansas Traveler tomatoes.


Garden Planning With Seed Saving in Mind

The focus of this post is garden layout for seed saving of nightshade crops. I know it’s a little late to talk about garden layout. I have a decent excuse though, which is that I only started blogging on this site a month ago. Understanding isolation distances and cross-pollination is an important starting point for seed saving. So although its June, I’m still going to write about it. I hope that readers will be able to use the information I am presenting in two ways:

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