What are you going to feast on (and grow yourself!) this year?

Veg bed planning 2011

Veg bed planning 2011

So it is that time of the year when thoughts turn to the veg patch for the coming year. At least it does in our house! I have grand ideas about perfect rows of sprouting this and that and bountiful produce falling into my fat little hand when the time comes. Whether it makes it to the plate is debatable and many a lunch has been straight off the plant/branch.

Having read Marc Diacono’s wonderful book A Taste of the Unexpected about growing what you love and also having been inspired by Alys Fowlers Edible Garden TV series (& in theory the book but I haven’t shelled out for it just yet!) This yera I am selfishly growing what I like, potatoes are ‘OUT’, berries and chillies are ‘IN’. I planted raspberries, a blackcurrant and a 2m mulberry before Christmas and the big freeze, they are doing well though no signs of life just yet. I also planted a small asparagus bed which I know will take 3 years to produce fruits but I do LOVE asparagus and it will be worth it.

My supply for seeds has been the rather interesting Real Seed company a sort of maverick seed supplier who supplies ‘open pollinated seed’ which can be propagated by the grower – you, on your kitchen windowsill – from seeds you collect from the fruits of your labours this year! The seed comes in little packets with idiots guides for each one and then a set of sheets describing all your purchases and how to grow them – THIS is fabulous for a novice grower, no faffing about looking up your variety, all on one page!> My page is pinned to the kitchen notice board, lest I lose it.

Goldne Kiwi, yellower than your average kiwi

I am having a debate with myself about introducing some stone fruit chez moi, a Victoria Plum, a Discovery Apple and a white Nectarine of some sort… SPACE just doesn’t look possible but then that has never stopped me before. I’d also love a golden kiwi and a blue honeysuckleBlue honeysuckle fruit bit like blueberries but cooler! not to mention the red gooseberry and Carolina allspice …GULP

This year main excitements are the arrival of 3 teeny Yacon roots and more Lemon Drop chillies which were a great hit 2 years ago. As usual I have laid them all out into my open office spreadsheet and marked a couple of vital weekends in my diary for planting seeds and planting out, staking and digging. I have also booked my lovely nephew, who seems to have grown into a big strong man sized thing over night, to do some digging in exchange for ££££ presumably to spend on driving lessons and or some iProduct, who knows.

Digging commences once the quagmire recedes (mid Feb-ish) and the setting out of the lottie will commence. And before you ask, YES, of course I have a design but this year am aiming for absolutely minimum maintenance and minimum costs. Having employed the AF ‘lasagne method’ with as much cardboard/mulch as I can lay my hands on. The plot looks a bit patchworky but really who cares? as long as it cuts out/down weeding and keeps the rampant grass under control.

If anyone would like copy of the spreadsheet to adulterate for themselves, mail me – being open source it is compatible with Linux, Microsoft and Mac! And it has most of the major veg groups on it…bar spuds ;)

About these ads

3 thoughts on “What are you going to feast on (and grow yourself!) this year?

  1. is it already that time of year to think about vegetables again?…i agree with you on the potatoe front although a bag or two for an extra early harvest never goes amiss…the fruit i loved the most last year was the Beth pear which we grow espallier…but i can never get round to plans or diagrams, i have some sort of idea in my head regarding rotation but i do tend to just do it inspiration wise as it comes, most inefficient i expect but it sort of works….

  2. Pingback: TODOS – April « Rosewarne Gardens, Bedfordshire Garden Designers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s