For years I have been asked about side-by-side trials, whether it is a MiracleGro vs. Urine experiment or a anaerobic vs. aerobic compost tea trial, or whatever.
Since I have a lot of space and am experimenting with multiple amendments right now in hopes of finding a good fix for our awful soil, I think it’s time.
I would like to set up something like this over the weekend:
Then I can get an idea of what works, what works well, and what doesn’t work at all.
Though in looking at this big layout of beds, I may change the arrangement and just set up 4′ x 4′ beds instead. Or even 5′ x 5′.
Something like this:
That would take less prep work and would allow me to run more tests in a smaller space.
The benefit of a 5′ x 5′, despite its awkward shape, is that it’s exactly 1/4 the area of the 10′ x 10′ space which is commonly given as an application area for various fertilizers and amendments.
Or I just run with the rectangular beds, making them 4′ wide by 27′ and cut them in half with a 2′ strip, which would give me 2 4 x 12.5′ beds, making 50 ft2 in each side, which is half the area covered by recommended application rates.
Anyhow, it’s a good idea to run trials, especially since I have so many people watching and reading. If I do it, it will allow others to directly benefit from my results and avoid having to reinvent the wheel in their own gardens.
As I commence the trial I will be sure to film and share my results over time. My thought right now is to plant each bed with a set of the exact same crops from perhaps 4 different species, then see what happens.