Friday, 27th December 2019. I am relaxing after a busy couple of days over Christmas and thinking back over 2019, but mostly looking forward to 2020. The veg patch project is probably one of my highlights of the year, but there is a huge amount to improve upon and I am looking forward to getting stuck into another growing season, with lots of lessons learned from this year!
My sister gave me a wonderful selection of heritage seeds for my birthday, comprising:
- Asparagus Pea
- Beetroot Choggia
- Borlotto Bean Lingua di Fuoco
- Carrot Early Nantes
- Courgette Tromoncino Albenga
- French Bean, Blue Lake Climbing
- Kale Black Tuscany
- Perpetual Spinach
- Radish French Breakfast
- Tomatillo Verde
- Tomato Black Russian
- Tomato San Marzano
She also gave our youngest a lovely pack of childrens heritage seeds for Christmas, so we are very nicely stocked for the coming year!!
- Carrot Chantenay 2 Red Cored
- Cress Curly
- Pea Hurst Greenshaft
- Pumpkin Jack O Lantyern
- Lettuce Mixed Baby leaf
- Sweetcorn lark F1
- Tomato Sungold F1
- Winter Squash Spaghetti
- Flowers - Calendula and Giant Sunflower!
I will add some Rocket and Lettuces, probably some cucumber to those too, and double check what we grew well last year, or would like to try this year. I am sure some more sees will find their way into this list.
Most pressing tasks for December:
- Weed and cover the beds
- Make a plan for sowing and planting out / rough plan of beds
- Tidy messy greenhouse
- Find out what to sow in Dec/Jan
The ground is utterly sodden as we have had a massively wet Autumn and Winter so far… the weather looks to be drying up next week, so I am planning to crack on with tidying and sorting beds and greenhouse. IN the meantime, I will enjoy looking through my gardening books to see what to sow and when over the coming months. ROLL ON SPRING, I am rather sick of Winter already!
Best bits of growing this season:
- No dig is brilliant!
- We successfully grew lots more veg that I expected
- We are STILL eating potatoes and onions
- We harvested sprouts for Christmas lunch
- The sunflowers we grew were EPIC, and the boys loved them
- (some of) The kids absolutely loved being involved - try and give them a bed or two of his own in 2020
- Having the pigs nearby was fun, and they benefited from eating the scraps and weeds
Lessons to take into 2020 growing season:
- Don’t grow too much, as tempting as it is! Concentrate on growing what we will enjoy eating (basically don’t grow too many squashes or courgettes!)
- Succession sow to keep crops going longer an avoid gluts
- Keep weeds around the edges down with a hoe or strimmer - these quickly got out of hand in the Summer
- Try and improve understanding of when to harvest - we probably left crops too long, when we could have been eating them, or harvested too early when they would have gone on longer
- Keep momentum going through Autumn and Winter - we lost interest a bit and now the patch looks a mess!
- Don’t grow Leeks by the greenhouse as the nettles took over - try a no dig bed in the patch