Well the veg garden is coming along nicely now. We have created separate areas and grouped the veg together with plants that like growing together – companion planting. Because we have odd shaped terraced land with lots of trees, it’s a case of lots of small beds here and there in between the trees! Also, being a real novice here it’s very much trial and error this year – I have a feeling we’ll have a big glut of veg and then nothing, so I’m trying to plan how to avoid that!
We didn’t have money to spend on expensive raised beds, so have marked the beds out with things we already have here, like a cut up IBC and some pipe! The bean poles were free – they are a bamboo-like grass that grows abundantly by the river, so we pop down there with a saw and help ourselves. The tops are thinner so we’ll use these bits as canes for the tomatoes. Amazing what you can do for free!
In the mornings we use the ash from the fire around different plants and trees, and also the morning coffee grounds go out too – all helps them to grow!
Last autumn I planted broad beans, peas, cabbage, onions and garlic, and this month I have sewn lots of seeds for lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, red beans, leeks, spinach, beetroot and butternut squash. I still have potatoes to go in, and will sew some wild garlic in with those.
I planted nasturtiums in with the cabbages and marigolds with the beans to keep insects away, and it seems to work well. I’ll put some basil with the tomatoes too. The insect population is steadily increasing as the days become warmer, so we’ll see what happens!
There is a real joy in nipping down the garden to cut some cabbage leaves for dinner and I can’t wait for the rest to start growing!
I’m also planning a small herb garden but haven’t quite decided what to grow or where yet – we have got mint and spearmint growing on one of the banks with the vetiver – it can go as mad as it likes along there, it won’t interfere or overtake the herb garden or veg as it’s as the other end of our land. I’ll be using creeping thyme on another bank to help secure the earth and suppress weeds there.
A year on and there’s still so much to do!