Crop Plans & Changing Plans

During the three years we ran the Wartime Garden we felt our garden needed to be changed towards a kitchen garden model. There where crops, though rich in nutrients, we simply couldn't get to grow in a way that was productive for us. We have tried onions from sets, onions from seeds, onions in a polytunnel, onions in pots and frankly we've had enough of them. Onions we can barter for, and we won't have the worry of ending up with beds that are empty. We want to maximise our crops under a different model of growing, looking to the likes of John Seymour and Charles Dowding to create no dig beds, chock full of mulch and learn new skills a long the way. This means some of the fancy crops have gone out of the window to be replaced by crops we know work well here.

Plan your growing this year and save yourself time.

The middle garden, up to now referred to as the allotment is becoming the field. This provides us with the opportunity to dig up all the soft fruit and move this into the lower cottage garden. This affords it more shelter, a deeper root run and will aid with pollination. The cottage garden will also see the introduction of chickens for eggs, meat and manure. The rhubarb is staying in the field area because we have grown so much from seed last year we can afford to plant several new beds of what is a crop that we sell, eat and barter. The field though is being split into 11 x 3 foot beds of which 5 will be for crops and 5 for flowers. We also have an additional 33 x 4 foot bed for potatoes in tyres, red cabbage and lettuce crops. This is where the old fruit patch and chive bed was. We're also going to create a herb garden in the cottage garden. 

Tricks to sort out your cropping plans.

The remaining two beds 12 x 15 feet are being handed over to pumpkins and courgettes. In the orchard we are going to start introducing more soft fruit, a compost heap, a new wind break to build a secluded, paradise garden (as in Geoff Hamilton), an area that is devoted to flowers (some rhubarb) and tranquility. We want to up our fruit production around the garden, sorting out our failed blackberry supports, sorting out the utility shed and eventually building another glasshouse by the original one to maximise tomato growing and other crops. There are the plans, to create a more intensive garden but with a view to building up the fertility of the soil. In the end it will only be the field that is changed every year. This is a plot size of around 50 x 22 feet + an additional nursery bed of 15 x 12 feet. Everything else will become perennial food beds of cottage planting, building up layers of flowers beside food crops. We are also trialing carrots in tubs this year within a container garden. We want to build on saving skills this year, learning new skills to share with you all. Here is our proposed food crops for 2015 from Thomas Etty, Tamar Organics, Seeds of Italy and Sarah Raven seeds, they are listed NAME, PRICE (as of 2015), SUPPLIER and TYPE + planned location for them:


Yellow Chard/£1.40/TAMAR ORGANIC/Beet - F
Cabbage Flower of Spring (spring cabbage)/£1.00/THOS ETTY/Brassica - F CG 
Dwarf Bean Tendergreen/£1.95/THOS ETTY/Dwarf Bean - F
Trocadero Lettuce/£1.70/THOS ETTY/Lettuce - F CG
Ubriacona Frastagliata (Syn. Drunken Woman)/£1.75/THOS ETTY/Lettuce - F PG
Golden Bantam Sweetcorn/£1.95/THOS ETTY/Sweetcorn - F CG
Nero di Toscano kale/£1.75/THOS ETTY/Kale - F PG
Hungry Gap Kale/£1.75/THOS ETTY/Kale - F
Painted Lady Runner Bean/£1.95/THOS ETTY/Bean - F
Sutton’s Prizewinner Runner Bean /£1.94/THOS ETTY/Bean - F
Dill/£1.85/THOS ETTY/Herb - F
Red Drumhead/£1.00/THOS ETTY/Brassica - F
Connecticut Field/£2.00/THOS ETTY/Pumpkin - GB
Autumn King/£1.75/THOS ETTY/Carrot - COG
Traditional Italian/£1.75/THOS ETTY/Basil - GH COG
Couer de bouef of Liguria/£2.19/FRANCHI/Tomato - GH
Principe Borghese da Appendere/£2.19/ FRANCHI/Tomato - GH
Courgette Verde/£2.19/FRANCHI/Courgette - GB

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Psyche White'/1.95/SARAH RAVEN/Cosmos - F
Pale Cosmos Collection/£2.20/SARAH RAVEN/Cosmos - F
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Versailles Tetra'/£1.95/SARAH RAVEN/Cosmos
Cosmos 'Dwarf Sensation White' and 'Versailles Tetra' Mix/£2.95/SARAH RAVEN/Cosmos - F
Dahlia Bishop's Children/£1.95/SARAH RAVEN /Dahlia - F
Onyx Sweet Pea Mix/£2.20/SARAH RAVEN/Sweet pea - F
Venetian Sweet Pea Mix /£2.20/SARAH RAVEN /Sweet pea - F
Helianthus annuus 'Taiyo'/£2.30/SARAH RAVEN/Sunflower - O
Calendula 'Touch of Red Mix'/£1.95/SARAH RAVEN /Calendula - F
Amethyst and Sapphire Mix/£3.50/SARAH RAVEN/Flower Mix - CG


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