So what’s a good time for a vegetable gardener to go away on holiday?
Of course you can’t make this the only criteria for holiday planning, but it did cross my mind when we talked at Christmas about holidays this year.
Spring seems like the busiest time in the garden, there are seeds to sow & baby plants to look after pretty much every day. Everything grows so fast in the summer, look away & the courgettes have turned into marrows. In late summer beans run to seed & give up producing.
The result is we’re away for 2 weeks later in the month, this means no seeds will be planted until we get back. It’s making me feel a bit twitchy, now that we have a brand-spanking new greenhouse just waiting to be filled … but in the long run I don’t think it’ll make too much difference.
But if you aren’t going away this month, it’s a good time to plant chillies. An early start means they produce chillies early enough for them to have plenty of time to ripen.
I dug up our gooseberry bushes from the allotment & planted them in the garden, it’s not too late to winter prune them, if you didn’t get round to it last month.
Seed potatoes can be left on a light window-sill to produce shoots. Apparently this gets them off to a good start when they’re planted.
Cover bare earth with a thick layer of mulch to improve the structure of the soil & the fertility. I use a general organic fertiliser, chicken manure pellets are good, a week or so before planting.
Cover the soil with fleece to warm it up ready for sowing seeds, it helps to speed up germination.
Sort out seeds from lat year. Don’t be tempted to use seeds that are past their sell-by date. I’ve lost valuable time using old seeds that didn’t germinate.
I’ve sorted through plant-pots & made sure I have enough, & there are a couple of bags of compost in the shed for when we get back.
This is the first year of having my little vegetable garden in our garden, rather than an allotment. There’s much less room, just 6 raised beds & a couple of borders, so planning is essential to get the most out of the space. I’ll let you know how it’s going next month.
Read here about finding time to grow vegetables..
How much does holiday planning influence what you grow, maybe you have a kind neighbour who’ll come in & tend your plants & seedlings?
all photos: Jill Anderson.