Last autumn I started thinking about what I wanted to grow this year, and I decided that – given the current Brexit situation – it might be wise to have a garden of more traditional crops, ones that we enjoy eating, and which would give us fresh food in the event that all of the imports are stuck in a big parking lot in Kent awaiting customs checks. Since then I haven’t given it too much thought, mostly because I’ve been waiting for the government to get its act together and decide what’s happening.
However, it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen any time soon, so I have gone ahead and planned this year’s garden anyway!
Allotment plan history, so far:
Basic veg + some unusual stuff (May’s deal)
All basic stuff (no deal)
Basic + unusual (May’s deal)
Lots of unusual + basic veg (No Brexit)
Adds flowers (gen election)
— steve mercer (@stevemercer4) 5 December 2018
There are 12 raised beds in the main garden (and three in the front garden, which are planted with soft fruit). Of those 12, 3 are planted with perennial vegetables and 1 with blueberries.
There are two beds planted with purple sprouting broccoli for spring harvests, and one waiting to be planted with broad beans (which are currently in modules). There’s one of hardy peas, one of onions, one of garlic, and one of leeks that we really should start eating. One bed currently has some carrots left in it (which we should eat) as well as the overwintering parsley plants.
I have decided to plant two beds with potatoes – one early variety and one maincrop – and I’ll buy those when the seed potatoes appear in the garden centre (since I only need about 14 seed potatoes to do both beds).
That doesn’t leave me a lot of space for other things, so there have been some difficult choices. We want courgettes, so I will grow those in with climbing Helda beans over their heads, which worked reasonably well last year (I was late putting the beans in). If I do that it means I have space for both sweetcorn (which we love, but which failed badly last year) and the new sprouting Chinese cauliflower we want to try this year.
I will also try and grow some sweet peppers in pots, but that’s the lot and I feel a bit hard done by. I want to put an Undetectable Extension Charm on the garden and grow more things.
But this is realistic for space and time and energy and things we will eat, so it’s the plan for now. And we might be able to find some space for more parsley and pak choi as the season rolls on.
[If you’re worried about Brexit (or other upheavals) and thinking about growing some of your own food this year, check out my new zine – Keep Calm and Grow Food – which is available via Etsy.]