Over the last few years we have been aiming at becoming more self sufficient. Last year we provided about 50% of our own food, but we need to and can do more. Thus the garden and our vegetable production has grown. Not only have we resurrected the ancient vegetable garden but also expanded further down in the garden and started to clear an area we call, ‘the field’.
Over the years I have recorded what has been planted, where, when … but have never taken the time to record this with photos. This is my attempt. It will be interesting to see how the garden changes over the growing season.
The vegetable gardens have been divided into 3 parts:
- The field
- The old veg garden
- The cow road
The field is where we plant our main crops. This year we have planted (from top to bottom along the pathway) garlic, onions (yellow and red), peas, mange tout, sunflowers and chickpeas. (From the top to the bottom along the perimeter wall) Savoy cabbage, lentils, sweetcorn and peanuts.
The field is fully seeded and planted. The garlic at the top was planted last September and the onions below in February. The peas and mange tout surfaced in the last few weeks, but the rest are still germinating. The Savoy cabbages will be transplanted in the next few weeks.
Even though the weather has been very dry.. the peas and mange tout have taken off over the last 2-3 weeks. Everything else, apart from the peanuts have surfaced.
As you can see things have taken odd in a big way. had the first crop of mange tout and should have peas in the next few days. The only crop not to be dong well is the peanuts.
Such fun… The garlic has been harvested. The peas are in their 3rd picking 2.5 kg up to now. And everything else apart from the lentils are shooting up. As you can see the sunflowers are about 3 m tall.
The field looks a little different this month 🙂 The sunflowers have bloomed and are now over 3m high. The red onions and final peas have been harvested. The yellow onions, chickpeas and sweetcorn have still another month to go and the cabbages will be ready in December. The only problem we had was the arrival of a young buck, that decided to dance in the sunflowers causing a row or two to topple over.
The Old Vegetable Garden
The old vegetable garden is where we rotate crops in beds. This year we have planted (from top to bottom on the left) Beetroot, swiss chard and broccoli. This year we have planted:
(from top to bottom on the middle) kale (red, curly and cavalo nero), peppers (sweet and chilli), French beans, soya beans, kidney beans, strawberries and perpetual spinach.
(from top to bottom on the right) fennel, tomatoes, runner beans, butternut squash, cucumbers, gherkins, broad beans, parsley, celery and celeriac.
(from top to bottom on the far right) leeks, basil
I have been installing an irrigation system in this part of the garden, to reduce workload during the hot summer months. It is currently 80% installed and am just waiting for more components from China to finish it off.
Only the broad beans have been transferred out. The other beds have been prepared composted and manured ready for the plants which should be out of the greenhouse in the next week or so.
As of early May some tomatoes, all beans (Runner, french, kidney), butternut squash and fennel have been transferred outside. The NZ spinach has been cleared.
Most of the crops are out and growing week. Should have the first crop of broad beans in the next few days and strawberries next week.
View looking up
View looking down
View looking up
View looking down
Most things have taken off. We have the first tomatoes forming. The broad beans have been hugely cropping. We have the first marrow/courgettes. I managed to buy new vines and a bisexual kiwi. The are keeping the beetroot company. I have had lots of problems with aubergine in the past, this batch seem to be growing well. Above all we had a couple of days, when we needed to water. The new irrigation system is working well.
There have been stunning developments in this area. We took our first cherry tomatoes today and the heirloom tomatoes have been engorging themselves on the cow shit and rain and are now ripening.. We have harvested kilos of beans, cucumbers and gherkins. There are already 12 butternut squash on the vine and already 3 or 4 aubergines.
The Cow Walk
The cow walk is where we plant more main crops. This year we have planted (from top to bottom along to the left of the pathway) strawberries, carrots, parsnips, kohl rabi, aubergine, mini corn, followed by my seed bed at the bottom. This year we have planted (from top to bottom along to the right of the pathway) potatoes, asparagus, potatoes and Jerusalem artichoke.
The carrots and parsnips and main crop potatoes have been sowed, the rest are waiting to go in. Had the first two asparagus pickings early April.
Hard to see from the photo, but the potatoes are in full swing about 30-40cm high
The potatoes are now over 1m tall, all fine apart from the parsnips which I have reseeded. One huge big bonus is the reappearance of the fig tree that looked as dead as a door post 🙂
The carrots have gloriously gone to seed and the main crop potatoes are fabulously fattening themselves on the compost and cow shit……. After 4 years of trying I have got sweet potatoes growing. Ignore any gardening advice given that you can grow sweet potato slips from shop bought potatoes. You cannot. They have all been treated with chemicals or irradiated. I tried potatoes from the UK, Bulgaria and Malaysia. I did manage to get some slips this year from Saw Beng Tee. about 6 are flourishing.
Recent rains have fed and nurtured the potato crop. They are still green and will take another month or so before the tubers have reached their full size. The sweet potatoes have gone wild and will hopefully fruit, hence we will have the necessary slips to grow a good crop next year.