Tuesday 15 December 2009

Growing Your Own Vegetables

This year, I grew a vegetable garden for the very first time. It was all because we tore down the old shed leaving a bare plot of earth and that got me thinking about getting something back from the land that we own.

My scheme started with a dream of huge giant pumpkins. The pumpkins in the UK are always of a small variety and I wanted something really big for Halloween. I did eventually harvest one nice sized pumpkin bit it wasn’t nearly as big as I would liked. Unfortunately, it didn’t get much water when we were away in Canada. Gotta try again next year.

Beside the pumpkins, I grew potatoes and corn in the plot. The potatoes were dead easy and very rewarding to grow. The corn wasn’t so successful; only harvested several small ears.

I also bought four 65 litre tubs to grow smaller plants. Growing in tubs works really well. Two tubs were just salad greens and were very easy to grow but need loads of watering. It’s great harvesting your own salad just before dinner. One tub was Kieran’s and he grew carrots. It was very overcrowded so they didn’t develop very well. A final tub had some cherry tomatoes and I was surprised how well they grew.

We grew more tomatoes in grow bags sheltered beside our new shed. They grew better than I expected and we got a small crop but they really could do with a greenhouse. Next to the tomatoes, Kieran grew a crop of strawberries in some grow bags and they turned out well.

We also added some berry plants to our garden. Kieran owns two blueberry plants and we have a couple of thornless blackberry plants and logan berry plant. Not much berries from them this year but I’m sure they’ll improve. Berries grow very well in the UK climate.

I concluded pretty quickly that growing vegetables is not cost effective. The scale is way too small for the amount of work involved. But it is strangely satisfying and I’m sure I’ll try again next year.

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