Wednesday 1 July 2009

Before the allotment

As I said in my previous post I haven't had my allotment long and even before then I enjoyed growing things. I'm essentially a country bumpkin at heart and live on the edge of a large village being able to walk out my door, cross the road and then just walk through fields. About a 5 minute walk from me surrounded by fields are the local allotments which I would often take a wander around and have a look at what was growing and grasped a few ideas for growing stuff in my garden.

I decided to start with a small herb patch. Nothing fancy, just a little bit of soil outside my back door, I bought some seeds which I sowed in pots and left on the windowsill in the kitchen. Then I just dug the soil over when they were big enough and planted them out. Some died and I re-planted...some didn't do anything and so I bought more seeds.

my herb patch
This has been established for a few years now and I have rosemary, peppermint, fennel, oregano, chives, catmint, curry plant, thyme, chives and lemon balm all growing. I then bought some patio planters, filled them with compost and grew some tomatoes.

The space I have is only about 5 foot by 1 foot but as you can see I have manged to get plenty in there and it smells great in the summer!!!!

I also had a little bit of soil on the other side of the garden..( not much as I have my garden mainly for the kids to play in) and I used some of this to grow a few runner beans and they did really well here.
I tried peas too but they weren't as succesful...I think mainly as they trailed onto the path which the kids then ran over! The cabbages that I planted did ok but these are quite a large veg when fully grown and need quite a bit of space so I only ended up withabout 5 decent sized ones and decided not to try these again!!!!

tomatoes and salad in the gardenI think my best buy were my window boxes, (I actually put these outside but they would have worked just as well inside). I filled them with compost and then bought a packet of mixed lettuce leaf seeds. This grew really well and saved me a lot of money over the summer as we eat a lot of salads, I had a couple extra tomato plants so not wanting to waste them put those in to and all the plants got on very nicely.. :-). It was great to be able to cut fresh leaf when we wanted to eat it and more just kept growing, and you can't beat picking a tomato and popping it straight in your mouth!

Radishes are a great thing to grow if you have a little space in your flower bed as they don't take up much room and are very hardy...and if you don't have an actual bed try planting a few runner bean seeds at the edge of your path near a fence...It's surprising how well they grow in a little bit of soil although remember to put something up for them to climb on.

Well I hope this has given people with very little space a few ideas and a bit of incentive to try to grow something for themselves!!

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