Divined vegetable gardens
by David Kennett
(Minnivale, Western Australia)
Most people have a fascination for divining, which is simply a way of tuning into our intuition. It can be employed in a multitude of ways and I will try and explain how it can be used for chemical-free gardening.
I live in the southern hemisphere, so directions might be different for people in the northern hemisphere.
Make a list of all the vegetables you would like to grow and preferably even more - I suggest about 60 to get full understanding of the method.
Make a single divining rod out of about 20cm of wire, such as a coat-hanger. Insulate the whole length of the wire with insulation tape - lay the wire on the edge of the same length of tape, then roll the wire so it gets wrapped in the tape. It might take a couple of tries to get it neat! Then bend the rod in half to make an 'L' shape.
For convenience I suggest you work initially on a surface that you can mark, such as concrete/chalk or a sheet of plastic/felt pen - you will need an area of about 2.5m x 2.5m with an edge aligned northeast to southwest.
Standing just off the southwest edge, and facing along that edge. With the divining rod in your hand pointing out in front of you, ask to be shown where to plant one of the vegetables. Even if you do not want to grow leeks, I suggest you try this one first. As you move SLOWLY forward, the rod will (should!) rotate to point across the area you are working with. Here in Australia, the divining rod will rotate in your hand to point to the northeast. Mark a line on the ground/plastic about 10cm long.
Then go through your list of vegetables - marking out and naming the parallel lines that you will get, about 5cm apart. Those plants of the same family will be on the same line - such as chilli, tomatoes, capsicum.
Having done this - draw 4 long lines parallel to each other, crossing the lines that you have previously drawn for the vegetables, at right-angles.
Next ask to be shown which vegetables should be planted in the first year, in the first plot in the garden and mark them on the first cross line.
Then do the same in turn for the first year in the second plot on the second cross line; the first year in the third plot on the third cross line; and the first year in the fourth plot on the fourth cross line.
You will discover that what is planted in 'Plot 1' in the first year will want to be planted in 'Plot 2' in the second year and so on.
You need to have a 'fallow year' - so have 5 plots. Nature will select the weeds She wants to grow in the plots when it is their turn to be fallow. The weeds add vital nutrients to the soil.
When I plant vegetables using this guide, there is virtually no invasion of weeds - to me this indicates that there is a perfect balance which improves over time.
Finally, you can use the divining rod to indicate the spacing and exact placement of the individual plants in the rows.
In the 'tomato row' I get a certain spacing. When I go along the same row, asking for positions for capsicum, I get spaces midway between the tomatoes. When I ask for the positions for chilli, I get them closer together, that is the same positions as the tomatoes and the capsicums - but if I have selected positions for either tomatoes or capsicums then I do not get any response for the chilli.The need to be in a row of their own.
It is hoped I have explained this adequately that you will give this a go, I intend to make a video which I will place on my Facebook page in due course.