Sowing the seeds of summer

So first official grow blog for me. And I’m hoping to cover a few things. Firstly this year’s goals, followed by the varieties and then the method of attack.
So without further due, let’s get started.

For the few of you who didn’t know for 2 seasons I had an allotment. Not a great size one, it was classed as a quarter plot which translated into a space around 20m x 10m. It was over-run with every weed known to man but over 2 seasons I got it to be very productive.

Then last year a few things changed which forced me to spend less time down there and as a result it got too much. Disappointed, I came up with the plan to grow at home like the good old days. I mean the benefits are endless. More time to grow, family get involved, no travelling, easier management… the list goes on.

On-top of this, growing in your garden has phased out vastly in the past few years, but in my opinion is one of the most valuable assets you can have. It’s also easier than people think.

So September 16 I started to plot and build which I’m hoping will be the start of a good future. I’m very fortunate to have a south facing garden which gets between 5-7 hours of full sun (when we have it!) in the winter and around 12 hours in the summer. The spot also happens to be the bottom right corner which is also very handy.

Dimensions of the box are 3.6 x 3.6m resulting in 12.96m2 of growing space or 139sqft!


The box is arranged as a keyhole design allowing me to gain access to the middle section. It’s a little wide at the back and right hand side for access from both sides but nothing a plank of wood can’t resolve.

The box itself is built using the no-dig method and is made up of cardboard, leaves, grass clippings & farmyard manure to a total depth of 1ft.

Perfect rich soil ready for growing in.


So after all this as you can guess I have a few key milestones I want to achieve:

Organic

At least 100kg of food

A wide selection of food

Season long growing

 

So let’s expand on them a little bit.

 

Organic

Simple. I want all of my food to be grown using both organic & sustainable methods. No chemicals. All fertilisers I need will be made using 3 ingredients. Nettle, comfrey & seaweed. Simples.

 

 

At least 100kg of food

More of a challenge of my growing skills rather than a goal. I want to help demonstrate that a small space can yield a large amount of food if planned correctly. My ultimate goal will be to inspire you to do the same.

 

 

A wide selection of food

Rather than my usual crop of broccoli, sprouts, potatoes, carrots and parsnips I want to experiment with a much wider variety of crops. From pumpkins grown vertical (for my first ever time) to trying new varieties such as Romanesco, I want to try it all. After all the experience is the best part.

 

 

Season long growing

One of my main goals this year. Every year I have a mad season where I grow a lot of food in one go and then the plot dies back. Rather than an all or nothing growing season I want to focus on a more consistent crop, meaning smaller more frequent sowings. Add to this seasonal varieties and there’s no reason I can’t be picking fresh veg in winter J

 

And last of all I want to pick my Christmas dinner. Yes I know its January but it’s all in the preparation!

 

So what am I growing?

 

Carrots – Nantes

Peas – Douce Provence

Broccoli – Calabrese F1

Cabbage – January King

Parsnips – Gladiator

Onions – Turbo (Sets)

Kale – Dwarf Curled

Beetroot – Bolt hardy

Tomatoes – Montello F1 bush variety

Pumpkins – Jack be little

Sprouts – Flower sprouts & Red Bull

Courgettes

Garlic

 

Not a bad list I would say 😉

 

The method of attack:

 

Ok so I have a basic plan for this, some of which has been highlighted above. I believe that if I plan a little more into sowing times there’s no reason why I shouldn’t accomplish what I want. The biggest factor I can see is space. As you can imagine I will be cropping quite close. For this I have a plan. For years I have devilled into the fascinating world of square foot gardening.

I have a separate blog detailing the method.

By using the simple guide for spacing, if done correctly, I will be on to a winner.

Remember to follow me on twitter @homegrownwxm or Facebook plot44organics for up to date posts 

 

Steve

 

 

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