I realise we’re at the end of January, but I thought I would take the time and reflect back at 2022, and look at our successes and failures.
After moving plots in autumn 2021, 2022 was the first year growing on the new plot. We managed to clear a large bed in time for spring (in fact it covered almost half the plot) and gave enough growing space for what we needed. We kept to our core veg; potatoes, beans, onions, sweetcorn, pumpkins and courgettes.
The potatoes started off well and we managed to harvest all our first and most of our second early potatoes. However, we left the main crop in the ground for too long, and when it come to digging them up in the middle of winter, they had rotted away.
The beans done extremely well, but started to suffer a little during the heatwave. They soon bounced back in late summer.
Our onions were fantastic, in fact probably the best crop we’ve ever had and we’ve still got some left in the cupboard.
Sweetcorn started really well, but we had a few succumb to smut, a fungal disease which affects sweetcorn. Smut thrives on hot dry summers, so it’s no surprise we had it considering the temperatures we had.
There’s one major issue that cropped up in late autumn and that’s rats. Rats have moved in underneath the chicken coop and while we are keeping them at bay with traps, they are still a problem. Fortunately, they seem to be leaving the chickens alone and more interested in digging holes everywhere.
I managed to get an hour down the plot this morning with the aim to plant out my remaining onions. I planted out a load of them at the beginning of April but I purposely didn’t plant out one tray, as I’ve had problems with birds pecking the tops off them. Fortunately, they’ve left them alone this year, so I should have a decent harvest from them come summer time.
I’ve been growing my onions from sets for years. I did try growing them from seed a couple of years ago, but germination was extremely poor, so I’ve grown them from sets ever since. I simply plant the sets into seed trays, grow them in the greenhouse until they are around 6 inches tall, and then move them to my cold frame for a month or two.
While having a walk around the plot, I noticed how much the weeds have grown since last weeks rain. Fortunately, my Oscillating Hoe made short work of them. If you haven’t got yourself an Oscillating Hoe, I highly recommend you get one, I find it a lot more effective at dealing with the weeds. It cuts the weeds beneath the soil level where they are most vulnerable.
I’m going to leave you with a photo of the plot looking from the shed.
I finished work early today to try and get down the plot for an hour. It felt nice to get down after work to be honest. My aim for today was to plant out my first early potatoes which I bought back in January from a local garden center, and like every single year, I cannot remember the variety. D’oh!!!!!
Most of the seed potatoes were either shrivelled up or really small. To be honest, I think I left them too long on the window sill and I should have really planted them a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.
I’ve still got my main crop of potatoes to plant out, which again, I can’t remember the variety (I do it all the time). These will go in within the next couple of weeks after I’ve finished preparing the bed.
While I was at it, I also planted out half my onion plants. I’ll give it a week before planting out the rest, the birds have a habit of pecking off the tops of the plants, so I don’t want to lose the entire crop. These were a bargain, 80 onion sets for £1 from a local DIY store back in January. I wish I picked up a couple of more bags to be honest. Oh well….