Wednesday 29 January 2014

New Beginnings

Well hello. It's been a long time, but I finally got round to realising that the only reason I wasn't posting anymore was simply for that reason; because it had been such a long time. Sometimes the hardest part is just showing up, isn't it?

So I'm not going to do a big long catch-up about everything I've done in the last year - partly because it's too much work and partly because it'd probably bore you all in one go anyway (and because the last time I did that was only three posts ago, which is a bit embarrassing). Instead, I'll just let you know that last year was pretty good and plans are afoot for an even better year ahead.

We seem to have finally beaten the grass in the middle section of our plot, allowing us to convert to no-dig growing for the most part, and this year we plan to work hard on the even grassier area down the bottom, and beat that too. This will involve some serious weeding and mulching of the raspberry bed, moving our compost bin to smother some of the troublesome grass, and digging over a tough area to plant our potatoes. Meanwhile, growing beans, roots and squashes on the middle part should be easy-peasy (though we've given up on onions and garlic thanks to the pernicious white rot in our soil), and we're going to commit one weed-free strip to perennial vegetables, including a brand new asparagus bed, some globe artichokes, and space for a new strawberry patch which we hope to plant next winter from this summer's runners. We've got some exciting new varieties to try, such as sweet-leafed stevia and Suffolk Herbs' "perennial salad mix", and we're also going to be trying out a new system for fertilising and remineralising the soil, from a fascinating book by Steve Solomon called The Intelligent Gardener: Growing Nutrient-Dense Food. More on all that to come!

For now, I'm sitting on my hands trying to resist sowing seeds, and wondering if this is it for winter or if it's finally going to kick in next week... or maybe in March or April just to wind us all up... I will permit myself to sow peppers from 1st February but, well, this happened... before that, my first priority needs to be somewhere new to put this year's tender seedlings!
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