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How to Plant a French-Style Potager

Formal patterns and exquisite color combinations characterize the French-style potager, where vegetables look as attractive as ornamental plants.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

More in Outdoors

French Potager Both Ornamental and Functional

Highlights:

Step 1: Get the Basics

Planting a potager is not difficult, but it does require careful planning to select and arrange colored varieties that mature to provide interest throughout the year. Here, sweet corn and runner beans add valuable height to a scheme dominated by gray and purple foliage.

Border Basics:
Size: 20 x 25 feet
Suits: An area with easy wheelbarrow access and a water supply
Soil: Fertile, moist, and free-draining
Site: Large open plot in full sun, with shelter from strong winds

Step 2: Buy the Plants

1 x packet runner bean 'Liberty' seed (Image 1)
1 x packet sweet corn 'Lark' seed (Image 2)
1 x packet cabbage 'Red Jewel' seed (Image 3)
1 x packet fava bean 'The Sutton' seed (Image 4)
1 x packet kale 'Red Russian' seed (Image 5)
1 x pack shallot 'Golden Gourmet' sets (Image 6)

Step 3: Maintain Your Plants

Prepare the soil by adding plenty of well-rotted manure the fall before planting. Draw out your design on paper, calculating the number of plants required to fill each row and what they can be replaced with once harvested. Plant the seeds in spring, harden off where required, and transplant into neat rows in early summer, adding supports for the runner beans. Water the young plants well, tie climbers to supports, and protect from pests as necessary. Harvest crops as they mature and plan to have replacement plants ready to fill the empty ground as soon as possible to maintain the garden’s appearance.

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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