Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review of the vegetable garden in late Spring

At this time of year we review how the vegetables and salad crops have performed. Luis keeps a notebook recording what grew where, what seeds were sown and when, varieties that perform well and problems and challenges that we faced in the previous season. The notebook is a useful reminder of when and what to sow.

We are lucky in so much that given our temperate climate and being so close to the coast, we can maintain the growing season throughout the year. We are just coming to the end of our leeks and fennel and in the middle of a rather splendid mange tout harvest.

We have three main vegetable beds: two measuring 10x5 meters and one of 10x2 meters. We use a standard rotation system to ensure the soil is not depleted of essential micro nutrients and we add, on a yearly basis, as much manure as we can get and plenty of home-made compost. Manure this year has been a short supply and we are currently looking at alternative sources.

Bed 1 contains: beans, squash, marrow/courgette, cucumber, sweetcorn, sage and a small lavender hedge (great for pollinating insects)

Bed 2 contains: gooseberry bush, strawberry plants, beetroot, peppers, chilli peppers, aubergines and wild tomatoes.

Bed 3 contains: Potatoes (100), tomatoes (12), onions (150 red, 150 white plus another 100 early local variety, peas and mange tout.

Seedlings at the moment include: salad leaves, sweetcorn, beetroot and basil. Still to come later in the season: 2nd crops of cucumber, marrow, beetroot. Winter lettuce, fennel, brassicas, leeks, celery, celeriac, turnips and swede.

Other beds we maintain are a salad and herb garden which contains various types of salad leaves and a range of herbs and plants for infusions and cooking.

Year on year we use more of what we grow and rely less on bought vegetables. All our produce is chemical free. Some crops are bountiful whilst others disappoint, some get attacked or diseased but experience has taught us that there are many natural remedies or prophylactics that can minimise damage or loss of crops. We learn each season from experience, trial and error but that is what growing your own is all about.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Click link to read more.