Last week, I posted ten tips to remember when planning the plot. With these in mind, and all my seeds sorted, I thought it was about time to settle down and knock up my own plan (plus Jan told me off for not having it done yet – I’ve got to manure for the broad beans).
In the end I decided against using an online planner, but did geek out with Microsoft Excel. I just can’t leave this alone at the moment, I’m using it for everything. My other half, Ailsa, thinks I’m nuts (click here if you’d like to view the plan).
There are four veg beds and two fruity ones, all of differing sizes, and I’m also going to make greater use of my little garden and old containers I’ve nabbed from work.
Crop Families Together
I’ve tried to keep my crop families together again this year, as they have similar soil requirements, and this makes preparing the ground easier. I’m all for easy.
It also means that come Autumn, I’ll have all my winter crops in just one bed, making manuring the whole plot simple.
Sweet Peas & Broad Beans
New this year is a row of sweet peas. We’re trying to grow them for my wedding on June 18th, and Jan has been nurturing seedlings through the winter. They’re nearly ready to go out, so fingers crossed for some lovely flowers come the day.
I was going to slot the broad beans in next to the sweet peas, but a timely text from Jan reminded me that both are susceptible to black fly, and the last thing we want at the wedding is table flowers full of these horrible little creatures!
When the broad beans come out, I’ll put pak choi in the vacated space as per last year. I love pak choi, its fast growing and lasts well in to winter. Spring greens can go after the sweet peas and I’ll do another late sowing of radiccio. This hardy lettuce has been super in the last couple of years. I pick the leaves as salad, rather than let it grow in to a proper lettuce.
Filling in the Gap
I’ll also be experimenting with my new AcryliCloche® to see how early I can get some lettuce, and left a nice lump of spare space to mess about with some heritage varieties. Not sure what ones yet, but I do like the beetroots with the pretty insides. I might also chuck some kohlrabi in here for no other reason that it looks plain peculiar.
Container wise, I’m going to try more peas and mangetout, as well as Parsnips. I’m putting the ‘snips in containers this year in an attempt to finally grow something that makes me proud. I’ve been bartering jam for my florist friend’s flower buckets, so hopefully these will do the trick. I think my soil is too stony for parsnips, and it will be interesting to see if controlling the soil gets me some better ones come winter time.
The other main change from last year is shifting my salads, radishes and spring onions to the sad little space down the side of my house. I’ve treated myself to a Ladder Allotment to grow my goodies on, and I’m looking forward to being able to just nip out of the back door for a summer salad.
All I need to do now is persuade my lazy cat that there are far better places to deposit her stools further down the garden.
Roll on spring.