Planting Plan 2014

Posted on March 20, 2014

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things{we}make garden plans

I’m planning for this year’s harvest.

This year I am not going to start anything from seed. If you see me at the garden centre, staring goggle-eyed at all the seed packets of pretty yet unfeasible vegetables, please drag me away. We just can’t successfully grow things from seed: We don’t have a greenhouse, or cold-frame…or even any window sills.

That might sound odd for a house with so many windows, but ’tis true. I don’t know whether it’s an Edwardian thing or just some weird requirement of George Kiddy, the railway manager that built our house back in 1904. Perhaps Mrs Kiddy hated dusting window sills. Whatever the reason, we have nowhere to germinate plants and grow seedlings. I tire of carrying them all in and out every day, of having muddy trays cluttering up my worktop and of mice eating them, or chickens scratching them up before they’re established.

So this year I shall be sourcing seedlings, which means I have a little longer to plan things…at least until the risk of frost has passed.

It might look random, but there are reasons for all my plans. I like the cutting lettuce and the beets at the back of the deck-seating, so I can reach over and grab some leaves for a salad without putting my shoes on. Runner beans, and maybe some borlotti’s will go at the back on the bean poles so that they don’t create shade for anything else. Sweetcorn can lean in front of them, facing the sun to ripen the cobs. I like dumpy outdoor bush cucumbers – always difficult to find seedlings for those – but they are worth the effort as one is just the right size to add to a salad.

things{we}make garden plans

Courgettes are thirsty plants, so they are near the door and in the ‘moist zone’ for easy watering and because the slugs leave them alone due to their spiky stems. I have to have broad beans because they are the best first crop of the year, preceded by the bean-tops which are almost even better. Once harvested they will get pulled up and replaced with a quick crop like chard or maybe some kale to take us through to winter.

Would you look at that? Not even proper spring yet and I am thinking about next winter. Gardening does that to you.

I’ve started chitting some potatoes so that we can have some waxy salad potatoes as early as possible. I’ll plant some in pots and sneak some into the herbaceous borders too. I know that means I shall be digging up rogue potatoes for evermore, but I kind of like surprises.

Oh and peas! We must have peas. They never reach the kitchen, we just eat them wandering round the garden, straight from the pod.

things{we}make garden plans

I have filled the dry, sunny, front garden with herbs. It was looking pretty good last year, but it will be amazing this summer when it is thick with herby scents and a haze of Hidcote Blue Lavender as we sit on the veranda to watch the sun go down.

We look a bit like Peak District hill-billies sat out there in a row as people walk past. It’s a good job we don’t have a banjo and a shotgun.

I might plant some garlic in between the herbs. It loves it out there in the sunshine and fresh garlic is the best for summer cooking. For a while we did successfully grow lettuce, onions and shallots out front, but it looked a little ‘Good Life’ and just needed a goat-on-a-rope to complete the picture.

I think that’s it for now….until a seed catalogue drops through the letterbox.

What are you planting this year?

Posted in: Claire, Garden, House