The Vegetable Garden

27 November



It’s that time of year where I’m winding down in the garden so I thought it would be a good time to write about the year of growing. I’ve had a vegetable plot for a long time but this year I tried a lot more than usual and put in a more sustained effort than normal and it’s been great. 


I only have a limited amount of space in the garden to grow so I need to be clever with space and encorporaring pots and grow bags too so I’d never be self sufficient but it’s still well worth it, I love being outside and the fruit and veg from the garden tastes great as well as the sense of achievement at having grown what I’m eating.

I have some firm favourites that I grow every year (cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes) as well as quite a few experiments. The carrots and potatoes haven’t done too well but I was impressed with the butternut squash and leeks. I’ll be trying the carrots and potatoes again though as they will be amazing if I can get it right.

 

First job of the year is soil prep. We have awful heavy clay soil - I’ll never have a no dig site - so it’s a case of digging in the manure, adding multi purpose and cultivating. I’ve started a compost bin and have some leaf bags as well so in the future I’ll be able to use those sources to add as well. It is the only job I really dislike but it’s worth doing to get the most out of the rest of the year.

 

I generally start sowing seeds around March/April time. Not having a greenhouse they stay in the front room window until the frosts have past. It was a strange one for weather this year, we had really cold weather for ages then jumped straight into summer which meant the plants were ready to go out before the cold had cleared but then when they did go out some died because I couldn’t water them fast enough (pumpkins were a prime example of this). The apple tree was affected to, we had hardly any blossom, resulting in very few apples.

 

When ready the young plants go out in the day and in at night for a few days to harden off then into the ground or tub at different stages down to the type of plant it is or if I’m succession planting. Then it’s a case of weeding, watering and feeding and the bit I love most, watching them grow. As well as the food they provide there are some beautiful plants which provide an interesting feature to the garden and I’ll happily sit by the plot when I’m not working on it. 



Harvesting is dependant on the plant too. Many I will just pick as and when they are ripe, cucumber is a great example, I’ll just pick the cucumbers when they are ready, the plant will produce more and I’ll have a steady supply over the summer. Others will be harvested at the same time (squashes I did this with and would have been potatoes if they were any good) and either stored or cooked. 

 

 

Then it’s on to clearing the plot, putting some manure down, planting the garlic and planning for the following year. Hopefully next year will involve more over wintering too.

 

When it comes to seed sowing time next year I may do more regular posts on the garden (no point in starting now, putting down manure and watching garlic grow will not make for good posts!), possibly a monthly update but I’ll see how I go.

I’m currently in the planning stages for next year, I’m thinking of corn on the cob and peas as the main crops as it’s something we both eat a lot of so it’ll be interesting to see how they go but I’d also like to try more all year gardening next year. I’m overwintering garlic again (because garlic is amazing) but I wanted to put a good layer of manure on again to help with our terrible soil. I’ve seen some people do amazing drawings when they plan but I’m not that artistic so it will be a very basic plan!

To see more photos of the garden throughout the year I have a separate Instagram account for my garden and craft photos; dawnwarden_craftandgrow. 

Thanks for reading,

Dawn x

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