Are you like me and enjoy planning what to grow in your garden next season? I have to admit, my plans rarely turn out as expected. Still, it is fun – and useful – to plan ahead when the weather prevents us from doing anything more.
For those who are new to gardening, a little research and advance planning can make all the difference. Nothing is more disheartening than a disappointing first year harvest.
This short but detailed article from GrowVeg suggests how to plan your vegetable garden step-by-step. It gives advice from how to set out your plot – the pros and cons of traditional beds, raised beds and the square-foot method, right up to crop rotation in subsequent years.
Though it's not something everyone will appreciate, I love GrowVeg's garden planner app. I've used it for 5 or 6 years now, and have the last 3 years of my HCG plot stored out in the app's history. If you are tech-minded and are happy to spend dark winter nights moving vegetable icons around a digital plot, this might be something you would enjoy.
GrowVeg also have an online journal that I always intend to use, but like many of my New Year Resolutions, good intentions tend to melt away like the snow. Maybe you keep a notebook or some other records of what you sowed, planted out, grew and harvested?
Next year I will try to plan more winter veg. Every year so far, my leeks have failed to grow bigger than green onions. My brassicas have been all stalk and no fruit. How I wish I had Brussels sprouts budding on a tall stalk right now!
This article on the BC Farms and Food website looks helpful. It made me realise that I have been planting my pak choi at the wrong time of year (I was following the seed pack instructions!).
This article, from the same website, suggests other winter hardy plants that help our bees survive the winter. I'm glad I planted my borage this year as it was covered in bees in the summer. I just hope that the borage, and my gardening mojo, survives the frosty days ahead.