Garden Connect – Month 5

As you know I’m part of a growing community called Garden Connect. The idea behind it being that if growers from all over the world grew the same types of vegetables, in the same way, at the same time of year it would be rather interesting to see how each person’s crops progressed and the harvest each country produced (or states and counties within each country). The layout of the garden has been designed by Matt (the creator of Garden Connect).


Courtesy of Matt of Hiemstra Gardens

Month 5 Update

I have to say it’s not going as well as I’d hoped, but I’m learning an awful lot as I go along on this challenge!

My lack of judgement when it came to adding plants to the plot are now causing the area great problems.  I’m hoping some of my fellow garden connect’ers can give me some advice.

Square foot(ish) garden chaos!

  • I’ll have beans coming out of my ears by the end of next month.  The six plants are dominating not only their area but also their neighbours space as well.  The plants look very healthy though.
  • I’m not sure where to even begin with the tomatoes!  They are huge, unruly and spreading everywhere!  They are beginning to flower and they seem to like their position but unfortunately it’s now at the expense of all other areas.
  • I’ve lost my cucumber plants to powdery mildew which sucks because I just managed to rescue them once from a lack of nutrients which were turning the leaves yellow.  It was like a pendulum that swung violently one side to the other in a matter of days!
  • The onions are okay, although again are stuggling for light against the toms and beans.
  • At least the chillies are doing well!  But as they aren’t really in the plot it’s probably why!
  • The kale has been fantastic, no problems their.  I’ve eaten so much of the stuff I’m far stronger (and healthier) than popeye now.
  • The spinach, lettuce, carrots (I did manage to harvest five) and beats have all been lost under the unrelenting growth of the beans and tomatoes

So my question really is at this desperate time on the plot:

  • Do I take some bean and tomato plants out?  Or do I prune them back?
  • What’s the quickest thing I can do to get this plot back in shape?


Lessons I’ve learnt so far

  1. If the plan says to only put two plants in a section it means two, not eight, or a sneaky six.
  2. Plants that require more light need to be at the front of the plot, or the plants that grow the biggest need to be at the back of the plot (depending on which way the sun hits it at what time of day)
  3. While the plot has been easy to maintain it would have been better to thin out plants before they got to big.  I’d have been better having less and filling any gaps in with succession planting later on.

If anyone can advise regarding the tomatoes and beans I’d be most grateful 🙂


13 responses to “Garden Connect – Month 5

    • I think you are absolutely right. Problem is after sowing so many and cutting those down you’d think 6 or 8 plants wouldn’t be that bad but of course it’s all to do with the plot size and it’s a lot smaller (even by my humble standards) than I am used to! Not to worry we live and learn 🙂

  1. I didn’t do this challenge but it sounds like a great way to learn a lot!! You could prune some of the tomato branches that aren’t flowering or producing any fruit. If it’s not too late you might want to stake them very gently. I can’t tell from the pics if you’ve done that or not? Same for the beans in terms of staking. Are they bush or climbing beans? That could pull things together, increase air circulation and get more light down to your other plants.

    • Great tip, thank you. The tomatoes are staked but I’m not sure it’s don’t much good so will try again (if I can actually get to them now among the other plants)
      The beans are bush beans and didn’t think I needed to stake them but I think I may need to at this rate! 😉

  2. Hi Sophie, I’m not doing the plan either, but my tomatoes are starting to get a bit unruly too. They always seem to have masses of space when you plant them, it’s amazing how quickly it disappears. I often trim off any excess leaves to allow air through, and I think you could do the same with the beans. I’d say if you have to sacrifice a tom plant for the sake of everything else, it might be worth considering. Hard to do though I know!

  3. Sounds like a cool challenge. Sorry to hear about your garden issues and losing some plants. The issue of space is one of the reasons I love using potted plants. I think pots work great for smaller plants and of course herbs. Also I absolutely love kale. It is so good for you too!

      • Sophie, Our garden has mint invading it and we did a small brush fire in it this year to try to kill it off. Next year we’ll see if it comes up. I cannot stress enough that any plant that spreads needs to be in a pot.

  4. Cut the tomatoes (or remove one or two of the plants). Apart from all of the above, if the weather turns damp, you could risk losing all your toms to botrytis (happened to me last autumn).

So, what do you think?

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