A trip to my local country supply store today means that my seed box is full and this afternoon I’ll be writing the planting schedule.
Last year we were horrible novices when it came to buying and planting. An over enthusiastic online shop last year meant that we planted loads of things we didn’t eat, too much of the stuff we did eat and didn’t stagger the planting meaning everything was ready all at once. The courgettes being the perfect example of our over enthusiasm and the over abundance of the results. Three different types of courgettes planted all at the same time much of which is still rotting on the compost heap.
A couple of weeks ago I unearthed a very old Country Living magazine from way back in 2004 when I was more concerned with the celery in my Bloody Mary than ever trying to grow the stuff myself. However, Sarah Raven had written an article on how to buy seeds and this year I followed her rules to the letter (well almost). Let’s hope it works!
Step 1: Think about what vegetables you eat every day, what you eat once a week and what you eat every now and again.
For us this looks like:
Everyday Items: Carrots, tomatoes, salad leaves, cucumber, potato, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, french beans parsley, basil.
Weekly Items: Peppers, swiss chard, beetroot, brussell sprouts, leeks, courgette.
Every now and then: Sweetcorn, broad beans, aubergine, parsnip.
Step 2: Decide from this list what you want too grow and what you’d rather just buy. For us this is carrots and parsnips. Buy what’s left on the list and ONLY what’s left on the list. Don’t get tempted by runner beans if you can’t stand the sight of their annoying stringy selves on your plate for every meal time in the summer.
Step 3: Create your planting schedule making sure you stagger planting for the salad & veg you’ll want to eat all through the summer. Plants lots of the stuff you eat everyday, less of your weekly veg and only a little of the things you eat occasionally.
So, our salad and veg planting this year will consist of only the things on this list (or at least that was the theory until I spotted the asparagus peas and sprouting cauliflower – far too tempting for words)
I bought my seeds at CountryWide Farmers in Bridgwater. They’re all Unwin Organic and most are hybrids which I’m assured offer a more robust plant. http://www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk/
I have my planting trays, compost and plant labels at the ready and I’m looking forward to getting soil under my finger nails again this summer.
For more from the amazing Sarah Raven visit her website at http://www.sarahraven.com/