Spring is in the air! It’s so lovely to see everyone’s mood boosted from the sunny weather and longer daylight hours we’ve started experiencing! I’ve had such a busy schedule since January hit and some projects have started to finish, so now I’ve finally got some down-time before it gets crazy again with my new projects. Therefore I’m taking this time to think more in depth about 2017 garden plans and get cracking on them (I know, it’s probably something I should have prepped by now)!
I went a bit crazy on seed buying towards the end of last year and have so many more varieties of vegetables I’ve grown previously, such as tomatoes, and veggies I’ve never tried growing before. My garden isn’t huge and I don’t have access to an allotment (it’s on the dream list) so obviously I can’t fit them all in this year! I plan to do some more research on time periods for growing and harvesting and seeing if any overlap/ I can plant in succession. I also want to investigate the idea of container growing some veggies too.
One of the most practical ways I’ve dealt with this expansion of veggies is adding all of the details to my journal. Yes, I’ve created a garden journal. I’m an absolute stationary geek – paperchase everyday please – so I tend to hoard notebooks. I’ve now dedicated one of these purely to gardening.
I’m not great at art or maths, but I’ve given it a crack. I started by measuring my small veggie plot from where my garlic and onions end to the other end of the veggie area. I also measured the depth. Once I had these measurements I could work through the distances of the veggies from the seed packets I wanted to focus on and see how it would all fit together.
I’ve got a complete mixture of seeds from broccoli and parsnips to sweetcorn and runner beans. The worst part was definitely cutting some out for next year’s growing season. However, I sucked it up and have gone with:
Sweetcorn (4 varieties which grow at different rates and times so I’ve a longer harvesting period – win!)
Courgettes – climbing ones
Peppers – two varieties
Tomatoes – two varieties
As you can see from my (awful) doodling I’ve measured out the distances I need between each variety and potentially where they’ll sit in the bed. I’ve added separately tomatoes and broad beans as I’m going to try the tomatoes in grow-bags this year, and the broad beans in containers. This could all change once I start sowing seeds (and realising I can’t do maths and all my measurements are wrong haha) but I’m hoping I’ll stick to it and it’ll work well. Depending how I get on I might end up with room for some more!
I spent a rainy saturday afternoon listening to Laura Marling’s new album (highly recommend) and clearing a space under my windowsill in the bedroom, ready for all the seeds to be sown. I’m not sure Matt will be impressed when he gets home to find the bedroom has turned into a seed lab, but it’s such a sunny spot in the house, and worked so well last year!
I’ve just whacked some newspaper down to keep the carpet soil-free, which definitely didn’t work – cue hoover. I’ve reused some old container and pots from last year and plan to buy some more fibre pots which can go straight in the ground as they were fab last year too. And then got down to sorting my abundance of seeds into what can be sown now, and what needs to wait for either later in the year or outdoor sowings.
Most of the seed packets are from Thompson and Morgan as I know what I’m getting with them. I’m so excited to spend some more time in the seed lab and tell you more about what I’m growing and how! Keep tuned.
What’re you growing this year? How do you figure out your plots? If you have any tips I’d love to know – feel free to drop me a comment!