In this lesson we will teach you how to plant using staggered spacing, also known as hexagonal or triangular spacing.
Staggered planting is a method used in manual agriculture.
It offers many advantages when working with small cultivating areas.
Garden beds have the ability to hold more plants.
When the plants mature, the leaves touch and cover the ground, creating a microclimate favorable to healthy plant growth.
Live mulch reduces evaporation and erosion in the soil and
contributes to the overall health of the garden.
To begin, you will need: a wooden board, a measuring stick, a hand fork, a transplanting trowel and a means of irrigation.
There are several ways to measure the distance between your plants.
In this bed, we will use wooden boards marked with the desired measurements and measuring sticks.
We have a set of sticks and boards between 5 and 60-cm/2 to 24 inches long.
Be carfeul not to step on the bed, otherwise you will compact the soil. Use a wooden board instead.
This piece of plywood is 1 cm or about 1/2 inch thick, about 1 meter or 3 feet in length and as wide as the garden bed.
Now, use the hand fork to remove a handful of seedlings and soil.
As you can see, thses ones have 3 or 4 nice leaves and long roots, so they are ready to be transplanted.
Here, we will use lettuce, transplanted 15 cm or 6 inches appart.
Start with the first plant, beginning at an angle from the corner of the garden bed.
For the first row, mark your hole 7.5 cm or 3 inches from the edge of the bed, which is half the length of the measuring stick.
Once your first row is transplanted, continue with these steps:
Draw a triangle between each plant, using the measuring stick, like this. The point will mark where the plant should be transplanted.
Make holes in 2 rows, like this. Here, you can start to see the staggered pattern.
Transplant a seedling into each hole.
You'll notice that the plants are an equal distance from one another.
Here, they have sufficient space to receive necessary light and nutrients.
Place the transplating trovwel in the soil and poen it slightly towards you, like this. Place the plant into the hole, holding the roots straight and close together.
You don't need to compact the soil around the plants.
If the seedlings' roots are too long, you can trim them down to the length of your palm.
This will cause them to redirect their energy towards the roots, which encourages their establishment in the soil.
Once the plants are grown, the leaves will cover the ground and create a live mulch. This minimizes water evaporation.
While the space between the plants may seem small, it's enough to provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy root and leaf development.
Test your plants using different spacing to determine the best spacing for your garden.
Pay attention to the weight of the crop and the overall health of the plants.