So far this year I haven't purchased any seeds. I probably should have by now I suspect. But all is not lost.
Well I don't think so anyway as this year my gardening bug is showing signs of appearing earlier than normal though, so I think it bodes well - last year it didn't start to twitch until early March.
What I have done though is sat down and started to plan where things might go. From that, I hope I'll have a concentrated seed spend.
Despite plenty of digging only part of our plot is functional; that's the large band at the bottom of my plan above - which currently is hosting the purple sprouting broccoli, some cabbages, a single cavolo nero, onions, garlic, some optimistic potatoes and some more promising broad beans.
We've already planted lavender, sage and mint (in a pot) at the far end of our plot, along with the pink flowering plant which we split into three. As they grow they'll start to form a plant border to stop the foxes running through the crops that we've planted.
The other section that's almost functional is the section just in front of the new compost bins, where we moved the small apple tree to last October. As you can see from the artichoke picture below, the grass has grown back in that section...
- I'm hoping that once the onions and garlic are done I can replace them with my usual "farm" of tomatoes.
- Where the purple sprouting broccoli is, I'm planning to plant a row of rosemary cuttings I've cultivated from the large plant I have in my garden.
- In the middle right-hand section, as a border I plan to plant some chrysanthemums from my dad's garden, but I'll need to clear some space for those - as well as dig over the rest of that section.
- I want to use the far side of the middle left-hand section for my beans this year. This may be a tad too optimistic as there's some large branches from who knows where there, and a grassy mound from some of our first digging attempts there. In its favour there is a metal "goal post" in place which will be ideal for the beans. And to hang some bunting from if I get my act together.
- The plan for the bed in front of the new compost bins is for plants we won't need to move. The small apple tree is already there, so are the artichokes. I've got some more strawberries and some rhubarb to move over there once we've re-dug this whole section.
For now, I think that's enough.
What I'll grow
This year I want to grow: tomatoes (of course!), sweetcorn, enough salad to keep us in lettuce, spring onions, pumpkins, spinach and potatoes. I want to grow some flowers too and last September at the Geffrye Museum I left with seeds for Nasturtium and Heartsease - I love their alternative name of Love-in-idleness!
I've also got some Poached Egg Plant (Limnanthes douglasii) seeds which I plan to grow to attract the bees over to my plot. The flowers are supposed to look like poached eggs, but I'm guessing not so good on toast...
On our last visit to the plot we checked, as we always do the state of the compost bins. The old ones hadn't got any worse and it seems the foxes hadn't been in them again. Good we thought, that was until we saw the new compost bins.
The foxes it seems have found the new compost bins and have had great fun gnawing and ripping out the cardboard I'd stuffed down the gaps in the pallets. So when I visit next with some time to do some work, my job will be to try to beat the wildlife again. And clear up the mess they've made, if the wind hasn't distributed the cardboard stuffing too far and wide!
I'd thought the foxes had given up with our plot and moved elsewhere. I think they've sensed (or smelt) we've not been around much and so our plot has once again become their playground. I've made a mental note to walk around the plot more often next winter just to discourage them. I hope just being there will dissuade them...
So that's the start of my gardening bug re-awakening. I know with my north-facing garden I can have a slower start than some of you, but this year I think that'll leave some time to get ahead on the digging.
Have you started to plan what you'll grow this year yet?