Size of Mandala

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by spidie, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. spidie

    spidie Guest

    Hi All

    I've just been reading Linda Woodrow's book, and I've decided that I would like to consilidate all my various no-dig beds into 1 mandala. I have most of the things required (eg. Chooks & worm farms) so this would just structure things much more and give me a "plan"!

    The 1 thing I don't have it the entire 14m diameter that is recommended in the book. I currently have about 9m spare (it's square in 1 corner against my fence) - so my question is this: Can I just scale everything down and the system will still work? This would make the chook dome 2.6m in diameter instead of 4m and I would probably put 4-6 chooks in there (I have 2 at the moment). Does this sound feasible?

    Thanks in advance
    Steve
     
  2. inthemidstofchange

    inthemidstofchange Junior Member

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    Yes, it can be done

    Hi Steve

    I think that there is a smaller set up plan in Linda's book, with smaller mandala sizes used. I currently use a smaller set up and it works quiet well. For the planting guilds I just cut her suggested plantings in half - so same variation in plants, just half the amount!

    Simone :D
     
  3. spidie

    spidie Guest

    Thanks Simone

    I'll have a look through and see (I haven't finished the book yet) - I did see the 4.5x4.5 city garden in there (that's pretty amazing 4.5 m2 is a tiny area!).

    Regards
    Steve
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Spidie, I do 30 foot/9 meter diameter circle mandalas with berries on the circumference.

    Don't forget to leave a way into the circle to work! This might sound obvious, but when you're first planting the perimeter plants will be small and easy to step over, but that comes to an end quickly!! And if you need to get a mower in there at some point the entrance needs to be wide enough for that.

    If you are using drip lines, you'll need to figure out how to get the drippers over this opening, or under if you have enough water pressure.

    Then be sure to put the opening in the Most Convenient place, because you don't get to leave the circle in just any old way. It's a little inconvenient to be very close to the exterior and have to walk all the way back to the entrance.

    And make sure you leave space between the perimeter and perhaps a fence or shed or wall it may be near. You'll need to get there to harvest and trim whatever you've got growing on that perimeter. So the space it takes is a bit larger than just the circle diameter.

    I have a problem because my mandalas are on a hillside, and I'm using gravity flow water pressure, so trying to fit dripper lines into an efficient pattern that gets water equally to all portions is a bit tricky. Figure out how you would put your drip lines before you get it all planted with vulnerable little plants.

    Also, if you are going to grow your own mulch by putting a nitrogen-fixing bush in the center of the mandala, it should be one that when mature will not overwhelm the circle, but tough enough to withstand walking around it all the time. The circular path around this center circle will have the leaves in it that it drops, and it is your main walkway.

    I have done the math and I can grow more in three 30-foot mandalas, than I can in two 45-foot mandalas because the perimeter becomes quite a large growing area, but then you have to figure out the easy way to move among the mandalas, and this can be a pain when doing big loads of mulch and straw, when placing watering lines, when trying to fit comfortable between two rows of thorny berry vines.

    So be generous with the space you need to work in. It's better for your back if you aren't all squished and bending into small areas all the time :)
     
  5. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Regarding your scaling it down, just draw out the size that works for you, and do the math on how many square feet of pathway that would use and how many square feet of growing space.

    Then figure the same thing out in rows, and which one has less pathway? That will tell you whether a mandala will work for your situation :)
     

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