Vegmonkey and the Mrs.

Vegetable growing in a very small space in Cheltenham

What’s still in the ground? February 23, 2008

        japanese senshyu onions resized vegmonkey                winter walcheren cauliflower

Next Saturday will be amazing fun! I know it already. It will be the first main planting day for us at Vegmonkey and the Mrs. Not much will go straight in the ground apart from the potatoes, but a lot of things will be going into seed trays and the ‘greenhouse’. Last year we planted a lot of beneficial plants that encourage insects such as limanthes douglasii (poached egg flower) in the beds, but found it made the beds untidy, cluttered and took away valuable growing room. This year, the aim is for the garden to be a lot tidier and more organised.

As the previous post showed, the stupidly long and annoying purple sprouting broccoli is really getting in the way as i want to be planting the onions where it is, next weekend. I’m sure there’s a way round it. It does look like it’s a few days from producing – i will find it very difficult not to post on it when i crop the first bunches! We’ve also got some beautiful rocket that has sat in the ground for about six months, slowly growing happily and not bolting. The japanese onions that we planted back last year are also growing well, although i have read on a few other blogs that these have not been hugely successful, i’m going to leave them to see what happens as the space for the cucurbits isn’t needed until at least June.

Finally, the Winter Walcheren cauliflower planted last July/August sat in seed trays before being transplanted into the brassica bed. I have since moved the three plants that survived the winter winds into this years brassica bed. They seem to have survived the move, and hopefully will grow really bushy soon – that’ll mean cauliflower by April! Here’s hoping.  There’s a pic of the Senshyu Japanese Onions and the Winter Walcheren Cauliflower at the top.

Next job: tidy garden and clean seed trays ready for next weekends planting!


Snowmonkey and the Mrs! January 13, 2008

Filed under: vegetable — vegmonkey @ 1:34 pm
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The rains came and then the snows. Last time we had bad rains in Gloucestershire, that’s all it was, rain…and lots of it. This time, i still had a problem getting home from work but i actually made it. The snow made it very exciting, so i grabbed the camera and went to explore the new incarnation of the veg plot!

Everything was covered with a thin covering of the white stuff, particularly the Japanese Onions which are more exposed. The early purple sprouting broccoli creaked under the weight, so had to be better supported, the rocket just sat there as happy as larry, still living! and i almost broke bones by nearly slipping over on the patio.

I’m pleased the rocket is still growing, and never realised that it was winter hardy until it started growing past everything else. There will definately be a larger pile this year. The cover had blown off the carrots that are still in the ground, i think that will be the end of them!

snow rocket


Planting Plan – Updated! January 2, 2008

winter veg planner amended 4 year rotation

Being a primary school teacher means i get more extended holidays than most people. This enables me to spend lots of time out in the garden during the main planting time of Easter, but also to get on top of things during the Winter season. The last day or so has been spent looking at the successes, failures and ‘missing parts!’ of last year’s veg planting plan and doing lots of scribbling and crossing out to improve it.

The main changes are:

1. The plot will be a lot fuller (i forgot to plant many ‘leaves’ this year and hardly any winter veg that grew.)

2. There will be no flowers growing in the beds (they will have their own pots…somewhere as they seemed to take over, particularly the sunflowers, as the beneficial insects are only good if there is space to grow!)

3. Potatoes will be added into the rotation (i’ve decided that First Earlies can go in before the leeks need the space.)

4. The colours have been changed to make the plan easier to read.

I have included the ‘winter veg planner’ below. Click it or print to make it easier to read. This is the best quality i could get it before it became too large for the page! Things like tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuces etc and herbs will all be grown in pots, hanging baskets or in the beds where there is space (!?). I will add a section for these later next week. I know a few people have been following some parts of the plan. I hope that things have worked, and would love to hear about any successes, failures, questions or recommendations!

I know the plan may look a bit ‘much’ but i know that this way, we are more likely, via the 4 year rotation, to have less diseases in each veg family, to know exactly what and where we can grow and to grow plants in an order so that the previous years plants prepare the soil for the next years!

 Winter veg 4 year rotation planting scheme

 Happy planning!