Veg Patch - February

This weather is crazy! Last year it was endless rain and this year the sun is blazing, forcing us outside to prepare our veg patch which this year is going to be bigger and better. I'm going to take you on a little tour of the patch today, starting at the top and working our way down. Last year was an experiment, we had four beds that we planted with a variety of veg, most of which grew. What we learnt was that rather than half a bed of tomatoes and half a bed of salad leaves, we need whole beds of these plants to keep us going throughout summer.

The top of the patch is where we cut out a whole load of box hedges which had been left to go wild and were blocking the view from the house. They went as soon as we moved in and it's now a difficult bed, full of stones and roots and poor soil. We've created a pathway from the house to the veg patch and to the left of this I'd like to create a rockery. To the right I'd like a mixture of flowers and fruit bushes. We sadly missed out on a good batch of top soil so we'll have to find a solution to filling it up with decent soil cause everything we have round here is thick sticky clay.

Next is my strawberry bed. We want strawberries...and lots of them! So we have created a whole bed that will be dedicated to a variety of strawberries that we'll buy from a local garden center.

Moving down we have four main beds and below them another four main beds. We need to work out some kind of watering system because this is where we got caught out last year. Last summer was so hot and though things got off to a good start in spring they quickly died out in the heat of the summer sun. Andrew has installed a tap and we're going to think about pipes into the beds.

Lastly Andrew has created two long beds at the bottom where we will plant onions, garlic and potatoes. We tried onions last year but they stayed mini (where did we go wrong?) and we tried a small amount of potatoes which were delicious so we're doubling the amount we plant this year. We've just got a small second hand rotavator which will help with preparing the soil here. We're itching to get going with seeds but it's still a little early, despite all the sunshine, though we have started a few indoors. We have a lot of packets from last year but we've also ordered some new ones from Sutton Seeds. We'll also be buying some starter plants from garden centers as they have a good variety round here.

Are you planting fruit or veg? Have you started preparing your planting areas or potting indoors? We'd love to hear any tips that you might have for a successful growing year.
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