This week, I finally got around to planning 2015’s veg patch.
Normally, I do this in bleak mid-winter, curled up in front of the fire with my seed packets, and a batch of new seed catalogues.
For one reason or another, I’ve fallen behind this year and my plan has been produced against a slightly warmer, lighter backdrop. Designing my plan during Spring, when I’ve already sown some seeds, has been an odd feeling but nice at the same time.
Nipping out to check my bed measurements in the light has been a bonus, and drawing up the area for my already germinated leeks and mangetout doubles the new season excitement.
Money-Saving Experiment Mark 2
This year, I’m plumping for solid and dependable veg as I’m going to be weighing produce for a second, garden-based incarnation of my grow your own money-saving experiment.
I’ll be growing reliable courgettes, toms, mangetout, French and runner beans, squashes, beetroot, outdoor cues, chard, and leeks, as well as the previously not so solid and dependable kale and cavolo nero – the last two years, have been a brassica massacre thanks to those pesky cabbage white, but I cannot bring myself to ditch these super hardy and important winter veg.
Potatoes or Cabbages?
The main bone of contention is whether I go for a row of big, chunky baking potatoes or use the space for a couple of cabbages and caulis instead. These would give me a challenge, as I always struggle with cabbages and caulis, but at the same time, I’m reminding myself to think about growing what I eat.
The odd cabbage and cauli is tasty, but we eat far more potatoes. A bag of potatoes is going to go much further when feeding us that a few cabbages. Potatoes are reliable too, particularly if you choose a blight-resistant variety such as the excellent Sarpo.
I’ve found caulis hit and miss in the past too, so there is every chance I’d take up space with something that doesn’t end up feeding me, Ailsa, Lewis and the new one…*
* oh yes, did I mention there will be another mouth to feed come September! :).
And so, with all this in mind, I’m leaning towards a row of potatoes. This year is all about growing what does well and seeing how much I can save, so reliability, how much we eat of each veg and the price in the shops will be the deciding factors.
Plus, chucking a potato in the oven is a lot easier to deal with than cabbage for two knackered parents needing a quick and easy feed!