Planning the Potager

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vegetable garden plan

After some lovely messages and support after my Dad's death last August, I got back out to complete the potager's raised beds, it wasn't easy but it was a moment of calm and healing, I'll take that, it was a job that my Dad would have told me to get on with and complete. I did. Now, we're moving forward with the potager, and I have decided to call it Geoff's Garden after my Dad. It would have been the kind of garden he would have liked as a joiner and master builder, it incorporates woodwork in the raised beds, meticulous measuring and block work using old reclaimed bricks (these bricks have had some life since we pulled them out of the kitchen). It is a construction job rather than just a digging job, it is a new garden and consigns what we once called the field to the archives. Though a new field area is in the planning.

A garden though needs plants and that starts with seeds and this is what we will be growing in the garden for 2019, including price and seed company. So, from the Real Seed Catalogue (you can see our unboxing film here) I will be growing for autumn/winter harvest Petrowski Turnip (£1.92) in Geoff's Garden. In the new field area: Winter Luxury (£2.46) and Anna Swartz Hubbard Winter Squash (£2.36). Back in the potager raised beds, the summer will brim with a wartime favourite: Champion Of England Tall Climbing Pea (£2.99), Grandpa Admire's Butterhead Lettuce (£2.15) and Cosse Violette Purple Climbing Bean (£2.82) to scramble over the arch.

For autumn we'll have Greyhound Pointy Summer/Autumn Cabbage (£1.64) in the raised beds. For the winter table we're trying Tender & True Parsnip (£2.29), Bleu De Solaise Hardy Leek (£2.42) and Sutherland Kale (£2.99).

In the greenhouse, back in the hopeful warmth of the summer we'll be carrying on with our hydroponics and growing Sweet Genovese Basil (£2.03), Palivec Long Red Chilli Pepper (£2.44) and Basque Chilli (£2.46).

For next spring we'll be sowing Durham Early Spring Cabbage (£1.69) in July, still one of our favourite cabbages from our wartime garden years.

From Seeds of Italy (see unboxing film here) we'll be growing Cutting Lettuce Verde Ricciolina da taglio (£1.99) in Geoff's Garden raised beds beside Courgette Verde D'Italia (£2.45). We'll be having a go at carrots again, now we have raised beds we're hopeful and are trying Carrot Touchon (£2.45) across from our favourite kale and one of the RHS's too, Cavolo Nero Of Tuscany (£2.45). We'll be sowing chard direct, Swiss Chard Of Lyon (£2.45).

In the greenhouse we'll be growing an old favourite, Tomato Costoluto Of Parma (£1.99) and Tomato Baby Plum Muscato (£2.99) seeing how they grow with hydroponics. 

We've grown spuds for years, in open ground, in tyres and sacks but this year we're going all out and placing them with pumpkins in a new 30 foot x 8 foot bed in the orchard, the new field. The potatoes this year came from DT Brown (they were on offer, we're a sucker for offers and cash off): Arran Victory (Maincrop £4.76), Sarpo Blue Danube (Early Maincrop £4.76) and Stemster (Maincrop £4.36). Two of these potatoes are purple! We've also got some flower seed for dotting around the potager, Nasturtium Alaska Mixed (a wonderful 99p), Poppy Maanzaad for our bread making (£2.09) and Cosmos Xanthos (£2.09). We'll be selling some of these around late spring in our community, or doing some swapping (you can see the unboxing film for DT Brown seeds here). 

Then we have a great new addition coming for the orchard from our trusty tree sales people, RV Roger, for those you who love heirloom trees or just looking through old fashioned catalogues, go to them. Our new tree, we can't resist them, please someone tell us to, is a Crab Apple, John Downie, a maiden at £15.50.

You can follow us through the next few months as we sow, plant and harvest in Geoff's Garden. Here's to you, Dad xxx



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