Kitchen Garden Review 2018

As the days get shorter and the temperatures plummet, it is time to recollect with what has been over the past year.

It cannot be ignored just how good the weather was this year. To put in context rain should be falling 2 out of 3 days.

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This year was more like 2 days out of a month.

Time for some Important Shopping

I picked up a water butt that was connected to the house drainpipe. Occasionally it was filled by rainfall but as I was making comfrey water, it had to have some tap water to top up.

 

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I have experience in the garden but not on this scale

This year has been the first time I have gone full scale in creating produce to support my family. Previously, I had grown vegetables, but purely as a curious hobby in gardening as a whole.

Mr Designer, Please Stand Up!

This year started with redesigning the garden to a point of cutting it in half with part for the family and half to grow crops.

The area was designed to grow small intense crops and with that meant, I could then work out how many crops to grow at any one time. It worked out to be 16 blocks. Most were the same size, of about 3×2.5ft, able to hold four or five rows in each.

So for next year I am curious how the weather might affect the crops.

Considering there was glorious sunshine and great results I now think I need to rely on other ways to boost. I did apply compost as the seeds went in and as already said I applied comfrey water but is that enough?

…Maybe not.

 

For next year, I intend to not dig the soil that deep. So far, I really had no choice because it was the first year in development, which meant removing bricks and stones. Hopefully this year I can keep the top soil a bit less untouched and add some of the broken down vegetation.

 

So let’s recap on the crops.

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Right time but more garlic

The garlic was small but powerful. Right now, there is still some left but it won’t last much longer. This Therefore will be increased to almost three times as much.

 

Earlier onions!

 Last crop was too late.

 This was more of an admin error. I ordered my seeds early on when the snow was still with us. The problem was I had thought they were on the order and was waiting for them to arrive.

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No broad beans. No one likes them.

It’s a shame as the seeds were part of a collection but if no one likes them, then I can use the space for something else.

 

Start crops indoors.

 Earlier chillies tomatoes and corn.

 This was yet another shame. We all love eating these but the cold start kept them back.

A solution to this for next year came a bit late this year. I made a mini greenhouse that raised the temperatures well.

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Better succession of peas, lettuce and spinach.

The next issue was infrequent sowing. I initially made one large sowing with intention of more but spacing and other commitments meant they were the only ones. I tried to take advantage of the lettuce by cutting the tops and letting it grow back. It did work but I think replacing would have been better.

 

Pak choi too early.

They bolted and left the veggie plot

More care needed in protecting. Radish left and bolted.

This one I put down to novice errors. Bolting is a plant that channels energy from the fruit to making flowers and seed. More care needed and checking growing conditions.

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Strawberry plants uncontrollable

For the first year, they did so well. The kids were out daily checking for new ones. The only problem is the new plants they’ve made. It’s a mass of runners that I said I would get in and transfer.

It’s a little daunting to say the least.

 

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