S.T.U.N. – courtesy of Mark Shepard – Sheer, Total, and Utter Neglect. A method of growing that saves work, and time.
A couple of years back I grew tomatoes in pots, which I put directly onto grass, and left them to their vices. The only variable that I controlled was the location – sunny, by a brick wall that accummulated the heat of the sun. The tomatoes did OK, and I was left to pick them, whenever they came. Apart from that I did no work.
This experiment is the culmination of too much thinking and rush action to catch up with the warming weather. The thesis is that I can sow plant assemblies, selected based on this wikipedia article, and leave them be. I will try to avoid watering, and to help with that I’m using the largest pots I could afford, and filled them with compost.
My permie friends will be happy to note that one of the assemblies is a straight “Three Sisters” with open-pollinated corn, giant runner beans, and butternut squash. Will it work? Time will tell.
Here’s the setup:
Two 125 litre compost bags (no peat, and no additives)
Four 55cm diameter plastic pots – I had to make holes in the bottom, as I didn’t notice they had none.
A bag of grit to put at bottom of pots for good drainage.
Seeds selection, and markers.
First I added the grit:
Then the compost:
And then sowed in the selection:
Here’s what I chose / had lying about already:
- Carrots – help tomatoes grow, but might be sacrificial
- Basil – increases tomato yield
- Parsley – seems to grow well with tomato. Might have to ensure it doesn’t go to seed if I want to save the seeds of the carrot
- Corn – main starch, and a stalk to climb onto
- Greek Gigantes runner bean – to add nitrogen to corn and climb onto it
- butternut squash to cover the ground around the other two
Sweet peas as the main crop:
- Spinach – provides shade for the peas
- Turnip – planted with peas stun each others growth, but per area output is greater than for either one alone
- Mint – supposedly it enhances peas
Cucumber as main crop (these are to eat fresh or to pickle):
- Kohlrabi – had some seeds, and was on the list, love this veg
- Sunflower – three seeds only of this huge variety “Sunzilla” that I just needed to try and grow,
- Lettuce – one needs lettuce in the garden, and it’s on the list
There you have it, the experiment is on. I spent £50.34 on the pots, soil and gravel. Add some seed cost to that, and about one and a half hour work including the visit at the garden centre.
If you happen to live near me, and would like to learn how to do that, give me a shout using the contact form below. This will get updated later in the year.