Supposing you have 32 plants to put in a square bed. You’d plant them in rows normally wouldn’t you? It makes for easy hoeing, keeps everything orderly and that’s what everyone’s always done.
However, if you were to plant them in a hexagonal pattern you’d get the same number of plants in the space, but each plant would have more room to grow until it encroached on the plants beside it. This makes for bigger plants from that wonderful compost you’ve given them. Furthermore, their leaves would create a natural shade over the soil below resulting in less evaporation. Hoeing is no more difficult, you just have to do it on the diagonal instead of straight up and down. Why not give it a whirl and see if my theory holds true?
It’s difficult to see in this photograph because there are several different types of lettuce, all different colours and ages too. However, you can see that as each one grows it will have good space to grow into and once fully grown you won’t see the soil beneath at all.
Today I was listening to Engleby by Sebastian Faulks. Excellent listening.