Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Edible Plans for 2011

There is, of course, a plan for all the work we're doing in the garden at the moment, a set of vegetables we want to plant. This is based partly on what we eat a lot of, partly on what we know we can grow reasonably well, and a bit on experimentation.

Things We Eat A Lot Of

Pak Choi is one of the new crops, but it's not quite as experimental as some of the others. I know it grows well in shade, and I'm told it'll get along on as little as two hours of sun a day. The spot we have planned for it is well within the shady south-end area of the garden, which gets sun only in the morning, now, and the evening, later in the year. We use pak choi in stir fries, a lot.

Onions were a definite success last year, and I'm intending to plant more of them this year. I use onions in just about everything I cook, so they won't go astray.

Strawberries grow fairly well for us, as long as they get enough sunshine, and have enough room. We can't affect the first, but we can deal with the second, so this year's strawberry bed will be better positioned and bigger.

Courgettes will be thinned to about two plants once they get going. There are limits to how many we can eat. I'm also tempted to let one or two go out to marrow size at the end of the season.

Things We Know Grow Well

Potatoes are not a thing we use a lot of, but we could use more - particularly if they're a waxy potato, rather than floury. Sadly, we lost much of last year's stored crop to frost. Given that they were in a potato sack, in a dark cupboard, in a shed which contains an always-on freezer and a tumble-dryer, I do feel this was rather bad luck. We'll try again, with a bigger bed and a different variety.

Peas did pretty well before, although few of them made it to the table - we tend to pop the pods and eat them there and then. They're getting what should be a good position this year, and we'll be planting more than before.


Green Beans are experiment number 1. They'll be a dwarf variety, so they don't shade the peas too much. We both like them, so I reckon if they grow well, they'll be added to the frequently-eaten list.

Carrots are something I tried before, but the soil was too heavy then, and they didn't get anywhere. This year they'll be going into a well-mixed bed of lighter soil, and I reckon we may get somewhere.

Corn - as in sweetcorn - will go into one sheltered corner. I know it'll grow in this climate, and I know it'll do ok as long as it gets some sun and not too much wind. I also know to grow it in a square block, rather than a row, so it gets pollinated. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I'll give it a shot.

Butternut squash will be another trial crop, on well-fertilised ground. I've had little success with squashes and pumpkins before, but I reckon I'll keep trying different varieties and see where I get to.

Lettuce was tried before, but got slugged. I'll try some slug preventatives this year, and plant some rocket as well. We use rocket much more as a vegetable than a herb.

We're also going to try some beetroot, in a small area, more for variety than anything else; we'll both eat it, and it looks like it might do well in our particular soil.

Things Already In Place

And of course, the apple trees, pear and plum, and fruit bushes (currants, gooseberries, blueberries and maybe raspberries, if they made it through the winter) are already there from last year, as are the herbs. There's also the twisted hazel in the front garden, which had some nuts last year, and might have some this year too, though that's not really the intention of it.


poettia said...

WOW sounds delicious Drew ! Hint for the courgettes , make some bread with it , fab ! Also to save space I plant my small crops like rocket and spinack in old buckets , bags etc...this year we are trying leeks for the first time...we`ll have to get together and swap some seeds and cuttings ! Let me know how the sweetcorn goes ! I have to "give in" to buy some of those snail pellets , despite my crushed eggshells and the feeding the birds they still managed to get at some of my seeds ahhhh ! More photos , sounds like a lot of great work going on :o) Fair play !

Sandra Stringer said...

Very ambitious, certainly many times more so than my efforts! Kudos!

Sandra Stringer said...

Very ambitious, certainly many times more so than my efforts! Kudos!