Saturday, 29 August 2009

The story so far

The veg patch was born in the spring of 2007, when a bare area of mud became the future site of my foray into self-sufficiency. I bought a bag of potatoes (Desiree, I think) and stuck them all in the ground. Next thing I knew, little tufts of green were poking their way through the mud and I was hooked. Over the next few weeks, I bought a load of seeds - onions, radishes, spring onions and carrots and learnt 2 key lessons.

Firstly, it really is best to sow successively. We ended up with 3 carrier bags full of spring onions that appeared in every meal for 2 weeks. I find it very difficult to sow my seeds and then pull half of them up when they've barely begun to grow. I get so emotionally involved with the little guys that even the thought of it makes me upset. I learnt to get round this problem by sowing just a few seeds every week or so and planting them a good distance apart - no ruthless thinning out required.

The other mistake I made (that I am still paying for now), is that potatoes are best grown in a pot. I can't believe that over 2 years after planting the things, they are still popping up now. Don't get me wrong, they're a damn sight better than dandelions in my rose garden, but the novelty is starting to wear off. If you're planning on growing potatoes in the future, please keep them in a pot. The added benefit of this is that it is so easy to keep adding compost as they grow and you end up with a huge amount of potatoes for such a small place. Just make space in the freezer for a load of shepherd's pie!

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