I didn’t intend to spend half the weekend gardening, it’s just that it all took much longer than I thought it would. Does this happen to you, & if it does did you stop & consider how the garden takes up a bit too much of your weekend?
I started thinking about my ground rules for gardening & growing, & realised I’ve strayed from them, quite a long way from them, so I’ve re-focused & made a note of them for next year:
- Plan exactly what I want to grow, & stick to it:
I have 6 raised vegetable beds, & a few large containers. My plan each year comprises
Roots: carrots, beetroot & the like.
Leaves: such as spinach, salad leaves.
Legumes: runner beans, these are a must, also French ones, & borlottis for the first time this year.
Each group takes up 2 of the beds & is rotated each year to stop the build up of pests & one group completely depleting the soil of its favourite nutrient. Sensible & workable, but easily ambushed by random purchases.
However, it’s easy to stray from this when there are so many nice plants & vegetables around. I bought some small broccoli plants when I visited a lovely National Trust garden. Broccoli wasn’t in my garden plan, space is tight, but it felt like a nice momento of a favourite garden to take away with me. So on a whim, I bought them, but regretted it when I got home & had to find planting space.
- Sow what you need
All those tiny vegetable & flower seeds result in many small plants that have to be watered, potted-on & planted. I like to have a few spares to give away & as back-ups in case of pest damage, but having too many costs in time & compost.
- Include perennial plants
Perennials are there year after year, & most just need an annual prune.
Herbs fit nicely in this category. I’ve planted Sage & Rosemary are planted in a border because they’re just as lovely as any other ornamental plant. They can be picked all year round, though Sage leaves get a bit leathery in winter, A good trim in early Spring makes way for soft, new leaves.
Fruit gives a good harvest for little effort. Gooseberries are one of the easiest to grow, we’ve just picked 2kg from 3 bushes they just need pruning & covering with netting in late Spring to keep the birds away. Rhubarb is another easy plant & trained fruit like step-over apples take up very little room.
Enjoy the last few days of June in your garden.
All photos: Jill Anderson