So we've decided on what we're going to grow. We've bought our seed or ordered it online - many suppliers are offering free P&P at the moment - and we've got our pots or trays ready - if you're reusing pots from last year or from friends or neighbours make sure you clean them thoroughly in case anything "nasty" is lurking.
We might even have started to sow our seeds and have them ready to spring into life. The next question is where are we going to grow everything.......
Now some plants will be fussier than others - just the right amount of sun or shade, just the right amount of watering, and the right sort of soil. All of that can be controlled - within reason - by choosing the eventual planting site with care. If we're going to grow carrots - as we will - then we need to have soil that is deep, rich and sandy. If we sow them in a heavy, clay based soil - like the type we have in Frome - then the roots will struggle to develop. And let's not forget that carrots are a root vegetable!
We grow most of our veg at the allotment - where we've spent hour upon hour digging and weeding. There is a no-dig approach that relies upon raised beds and the addition every year of compost but we like the exercise! What we're going to look at now is how we might grow some veg without having the luxury of an allotment - at the last count in Frome there were over 100 people waiting for an allotment to become available.
So what can we do?
From top left to bottom right -
We really do try and recycle whatever we can. Here we have some old plastic troughs that have seen better days and the customer didn't want. We can use those though to grow some tasty veg. And we can use those pots - once we know they're clean - to bring our seedlings on.
Frome wouldn't be Frome without something growing in a tin, would it? Now I wouldn't have bought premium brand tomatoes but that was all the supermarket had. And after we've grown our own tomatoes I can't see us buying them again for a long time. These will look great planted up with herbs and sitting on the kitchen windowsill.
No we didn't get this from a reclamation yard and neither did we pay reclamation yard prices for it! Part of a water feature plan we'll now fill this with compost and use it to grow carrots.
Chimney pots, with a pot in the top and we're good to grow with tumbling tomatoes.
Belfast sinks, with what looks like a sad excuse for a curry plant. Clear that out and planted up with mint and we'll be in business.
What a sad excuse for a hanging basket or hay trough. Again tumbling tomatoes will grow well and look great in that.
And of course on top of all that we can try Grow Bags, planting directly into bags of compost or the sacks that are made especially for certain veg - like potato sacks (although we have to say that our experience of using them has never resulted in good yields - perhaps it's us.....)
And if all else fails we can always use part of the actual garden. Here the somewhat elaborate plan for an Edwardian Gentleman's Fernery will have to go on hold for now. And before anyone asks the stone was free from a man in Midsomer Norton who no longer wanted it. We wouldn't normally advocate using weather and water worn stone like that - looks far better in it's natural surroundings - but as it was going to be thrown away anyway we stepped in.
I sense there's a heavy lifting job for Edie and her brother and sister this weekend...........