Thursday, 27 March 2008

Growing my Own

The weather today was absolutely gorgeous, and so I took advantage of the warm sunshine to go outside and start working on my vegetable patch. I had already transferred the strawberry plants from one end of the patch to the other, so I dug up any strays that I missed last time and moved them to the new strawberry area.

I decided to divide the big patch up into three smaller patches, with pathways in between, so I laid some posts down as markers and allocated these areas:

The strawberry area is 4 feet by 7 feet, with a small patch of asparagus at the top. These are all perennials, which self propagate and come back year after year, so it's just a question of keeping them tidy.

I've decided to try companion planting, so I've allocated a 4 ft by 3 ft area for brassicas (cabbage and broccoli) with celery, oregano and thyme to deter cabbage white butterflies. I will also plant salad greens in between to keep the area productive until the brassicas get going. This will be the first area I plant. The four green shoots you can see are bits of an onion that I had which was past eating, and had shooted. I broke it up into four separate bulb, but the two at the front have no roots, so I don't know how they'll do, or even whether each of them will grow into a big onion.(?)

I've allocated the area at the back for something that's known as 3 sisters: corn, beans and squash. You plant the corn indoors and when it's ready to transplant, you put it outside and plant a couple of beans at the base of each corn. Meanwhile, you start of your squash plant in pots indoors. The corn grows, and the beans grow up the corn. Then you plant the squash at the base of each of these, and that covers the ground. It sounds brilliant, in theory.

Here's a picture of the tools I used this afternoon. The hook like tool is the best weeder I've ever used. I got it at a National Trust shop, but I've just checked their website and couldn't find it. I hope they haven't stopped stocking them, because it's a really good gadget.

I'll post regular updates as the vegetable patch gets planted and grows. There are two more smaller patches (4 ft by 8 ft) that I've never planted in before. I'm planning to get them started this year.


Betty said...

Uhm, it must be nice to have your own strawberries growing right in your back door. I love strawberries, but it's hard to find good, sweet ones in the grocery stores.

Donna said...

I'm eager to see the garden grow!! Never heard of the three sisters combination!! Sounds like it would work beautifully. Glad you're getting some decent weather now! Have a wonderful weekend sweetie!!hughugs

Dawn said...

I can't wait to see how it does. I don't have a place to grow fruits and vegetables. I like everything that you are growing!!


Sally said...

Wow, you sure are a busy one. Good for you growing your own veggies, and those wonderful strawberries. I sure could have used that weeder thing yesterday! I'd love to have one of those. Have a good weekend, and don't work too hard!!

IcyCucky said...

As you prepared for your garden there, we got hit with 4-5 inches of snow here last night...Boy, I do miss digging in the dirt..

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your garden. I tried growing carrots, onions, lettuce, and a few other things when I first retired, but when they started to sprout, something ate them one night and everything was gone the next morning. I'd really like to grow my own broccoli because I eat it alot. When my husband and I were first married, I had a pretty good-size garden in the back of the house we were renting. I had corn, turnips, onions, green beans, carrots and everything grew really well. I remember when I was a kid, my dad had all kinds of fruit growing in our backyard....peaches, plumbs, apricots, lemons, oranges, applies, grapefruit and grapes.

Liane Schmidt said...

Thank you with all my heart for your kind comment and very nice blog! I look forward to reading more!

I will add you to my blogroll too as soon as I find out how to create one - I'm still new to the "blogging" world.

Best wishes.


-Liane Schmidt.

Liane Schmidt said...

Great post. One day when I have a backyard, I will have a garden as well.

Best wishes.


-Liane Schmidt.