Down to Business

Anyone would think it’s nearly Christmas with all this excitement around, shopping, parties and trying to buy a free range turkey for two (which let me tell you, ain’t easy!)

I do like Christmas, I just hate the commercialisation of it.  Being bombarded with clothes, watches and perfume every time you turn the TV on isn’t my idea of warm family get together’s, singing Cliff Richard tunes and enjoying some charades after the pudding has been set alight for the third time.

So in order to keep sanity alive I’ve turned my thoughts to the garden and what I’ll be growing next year.

I’ve had a few recent twitter conversation about lettuce just recently.  In times gone past I’ve not had much luck growing lettuce past September but now I have a walk in grow house I think it’s time I took the plunge and tried to get lettuce growing all through the year.  Apparently I may have missed out on the winter sowing so will have to wait until end of January so I’m just in the process of ordering seeds for that.

Chillies of course will feature quite high up on the growing agenda next yr.  However, I’ll try and keep varieties compact and grow only those with the shortest  season.  I’ve kindly been given some new chilli seeds to grow which I’m very pleased to try out.

The garlic and onion bulbs have been planted.  They were put in one of the beds at the beginning of December.  I was quite amazed at how many bulbs fitted in the 1.5m x 1.5m bed; 21 garlic bulbs and nearly 35 onion sets.  I’ve added them to the first bed, as you can see below, which isn’t full of soil yet.  Neither garlic or onions need a lot of soil to grow in (hence why they are perfect for growing in tubs and pots).  They have very short, fibrous roots which makes them the perfect choice for a starter for ten in the vegetable garden.

Neither are expensive to buy in the shops but I always forget to buy them when I need to cook with them so better to have them to hand.  Plus, as always, home grown means you know it’s fresh, local and without chemicals being used to grow them.

If you ever want to grow a relatively easy crop, garlic is the one to go for.  Plus it can be used for so many cooking dishes.  

DSCF1568

None of the raised beds are full of soil yet.  That’s going to take me a while to achieve.  I had hoped to just be able to fill them all up with 2/3rds top soil and 1/3rd compost but apparently the quality of top soil can’t be guaranteed  and I might end up bringing pests and disease into the garden, so I’m going to have to be patient and buy compost as and when I can, while topping that up with my home made compost.

No pruning required for my blueberries or currants this year as they are too young so no work there for the time being.  I do need to get in my fruit trees and cob bushes before end of March so that will be the next job, as will keeping Mouse off the raised beds!

Has anyone else ventured to start growing/sowing anything yet?

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6 responses to “Down to Business

  1. brilliant post Sophie and I keep looking out into tow the garden to work out were to have my veg plot as waiting to have some cars moved first that are in the garden from the last tenant

  2. Just like you, I hate Christmas commercialisation.. and I love Cfiff Richard..
    Your compost seems rather good. At the moment no gardening for me, weather is too cold. We’ave to wait spring time.Have a very nice Christmas
    Best regards from France

    me, weather is too

    • That compost you can see in the picture is from the garden centre alas! Mine will be added next yr. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas as well. Hopefully the weather will start to improve soon 🙂

  3. Sophie, have you tried making leaf mold? I used collected leaves, that are left to cook in a builders bag. I also fill the raised beds with collected lead mold and chopped down ceased to exist veg plans. Then these can be topped off with MPC.

    • Yes I make a lot of leaf mould using my composter. It’s a great source of nutrients for my raised beds. I’m filling the raised beds up much quicker now I realised I could use all sorts of different (organic) materials. It is a continual process though isn’t it? Thanks for the tips 🙂

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