[Market-farming] edge of bed grows better

Dalew Farms dalew at phonenet.ca
Tue Mar 8 13:13:46 EST 2011

My first thought also was simply density effect.  Last year we planted 
carrots for the first time with a 6 row seeder from Johnny's, and I 
definitely noticed that the outside couple rows on each bed were bigger 
carrots than the inside rows.  Our other method was using an earthway seeder 
and I would usually put only 2 rows per bed, approx 10" apart, and had never 
noticed that...but the odd time when I tried 3 rows per bed I thought I 
noticed poorer carrots in the middle row, but only a very slight difference.

I had written that off just as a density effect, and planned on doing my 
carrots only using every other row on the 6 row seeder this year to see if 
that helped.  Alex McGregor's email definitely made me re-think that, but 
since we do have a fairly heavy clay soil, I don't think moisture 
differences would be responsible for the better carrots at the edges, as 
opposed to the middle.  I think it was just density - that the plants on the 
edge can branch out slightly more and collect a little bit more sunlight!?!

For harvesting greens, depending on how you harvest, bigger earlier plants 
on the edges of the beds could be a good thing...maybe harvest the edge a 
few days earlier than the middle of the bed....less reaching and spreads out 
your harvest window.  (although I realize sometimes spreading out the 
harvest window can also be a bad thing)

Sorry, I don't think I helped much! LOL


Dalew Farms
Web: www.dalewfarms.ca
E-mail: dalew at phonenet.ca
Phone: (705)594-1823
Fax: (705)594-1834
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Robinson" <rrobinson at nasw.org>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] edge of bed grows better

> On 3/8/2011 at 10:29:01 AM, Avalon Farms wrote:
>> Does anyone know why the mesclun on the edge of the beds grows 10 times
>> faster/better than the rest? They are 3 ft wide beds in a hoop house. 
>> Fairly
>> even moisture and fertilizer. But the plants on the outside of the beds
>> always grow better. The only thing I can think of is that the edges 
>> naturally
>> get compressed a bit more and the centers stay fluffier. This soil is 
>> sandy
>> clay/loam.
> My first thought is that it's a simple density effect--the plants in the 
> middle have
> competitors on all sides, while those on the edge do not. Perhaps you 
> could seed less
> densely?
>  Richard Robinson
>  www.nasw.org/users/rrobinson/
>  Hopestill Farm
>  www.hopestill.com
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