The Start of the Growing Season

Raised bed with trellis for beans, and troughs for strawberries.
The garden, showing some of the raised beds and herbs.

You might have noticed that the website has been a bit quiet recently. The fact is, we’ve been busy getting things ready for the start of the growing season. We’re adopting the “no dig” method that has been shown to increase the harvest throughout the year, and we’re setting up a self-watering system for the patio that will give us an extra 10m of growing space.

We have 9 raised beds in total, 7 troughs, and 5 2 meter long self-watering channels. Most of the beds are 3 meters long and just over a meter wide, although a couple of them are smaller, and we have a vertical pallet garden, which will be planted with salad leaves. Each of the raised beds was filled with farmyard manure in December and covered with a polythene sheet. This helped to make sure there weren’t too many weeds waiting for us when we started to uncover the beds in the spring.

This year we plan to grow:

  • Peas (3 varieties)
  • Broad Beans
  • Runner Beans
  • Dwarf Beans
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Purple Sprouting Brocolli
  • Corn Salad (Lambs Lettuce)
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Onions
  • Turnips
  • Marrow
  • Courgette
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflowers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes (3 varieties)
  • Chili Peppers (2 varieties)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Horseradish
  • Rocket
  • Mizuma
  • Radish
  • Assorted Salad Leaves

That’s quite a lot of vegetables in quite a small space, and it needed a bit of working out to decide what things should go where and when in which bed. In the end, tabulated things so they were a bit easier to understand. Here’s an excerpt from our table:

Many tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, and parsley seedlings being re-potted.

We don’t have a greenhouse at the moment, so we upgraded the shed with lots of shelves for seedlings, and we’re growing lots of things on in the old hydroponics testing rig. We’ve added heaters and more lights to it make a mini-greenhouse/super-propagator that brings the seedlings on very quickly.

We haven’t produced any videos or detailed documentation on the garden so far, because there doesn’t seem to be much need when there’s already so much available on the internet from the likes of Charles Dowding. We’re just learning to get the most from the space we have, and everything we’re doing is an experiment this year. We’ll update again with more information when we have a better idea what the fruits of our labours will be. Don’t forget that you can follow us on instagram for more photographs, and you can check out the gallery below to see more from the garden.

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