It’s the time of year when the seed catalogues come out and tempt us to find room for more plants than will fit in the garden. Since the oca and ulluco harvest, I revisited my 2017 garden plan to make sure it still represents what we want from the garden this year. It’s helpful to know the current state of play, i.e. what’s currently in the raised beds.

State of play: left garden

The left hand side of the garden (if you’re looking out from the house) is where you’d find the bed of mixed perennials, the one filled with blueberries and wintergreen, and the wild asparagus. In the next row of beds, one is filled with beetroot and diakon, one with flower spouts, and the last one with purple sprouting broccoli.

State of play: right garden

One of the reasons I created these diagrams is to have a permanent record of the current planting, which will help me rotate crops around the garden. (Crop rotation is one of the topics I’ve been working on this week for The Organic Academy, which is launching soon with a range of courses for would-be organic vegetable gardeners.)

Plan for 2017:

My original garden plan is still valid. I will have five beds for spring planting, earmarked for:
1. broad beans
2. courgettes and a summer squash
3. achocha
4. shark’s fin melon
5. French beans

The onions will be done in June, to be replaced with sweetcorn.
The garlic will be ready in August, perhaps to be replaced with new PSB plants. I haven’t planned that far ahead 🙂

Other things I want to grow this year:

  • parsley
  • basil (including giant, lettuce leaved basil)
  • calendula
  • opium poppies
  • paracress
  • goldenberries
  • kiwano
  • peppers
  • cucamelons
  • parsley peas

A lot of those can go in containers, or in the extra strip of garden (for which the ultimate layout is not decided yet). Some may have to wait until next year. Rome wasn’t built in a day, or so they say, and after two years the garden is already filled with so much more life than it was when we arrived!

As I read through books and blogs, and talk to people on social media, I am reminded of crops that I have grown before and would like to grow again, or of new plants that I’ve always wanted to grow. Over the years I’ve had various lists, in various places, but Ryan is going to put a whiteboard up in my office so i can keep a definitive list, and know where it is! (Whether or not I will remember why I wanted to grow something is a different matter 😉 )

The Small Harvest Notebook by Emma Cooper

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