Inspired By Monty Don

by Bea

The Full Monty!

The Full Monty!

Having moved to our new house a year ago, and having deliberately chosen the house with the bigger garden (because of the children!), from the options given (though it's not huge!), it was with some trepidation that in February this year that I began the ardious task of weeding. The garden had been left to it's own devices for at least a year or two before we arrived, so was in a bit of a weedy state!

I spent the whole of the February half term week removing the weeds, and finally at the end of the week, did a `Ground Force` style "reveal" to Chris, my husband. He was impressed, and when I said I had plans to plant up a vegetable patch - he seemed quite happy about that.

So I went and bought some seed potatoes from B&Q but when my Dad saw the quantity of the potatoes in the pack, he said it would take all the patch I had allowed for the other vegetables!!

So from this I have gradually begun my domination of the garden, turning any spare space into vegetable patches, digging over where it would be logical to have a bed for growing vegetables, and getting rid of copious amounts of weeds and grass.

It is looking good now. Planting vegetables is the fun bit, that and watching them grow. But the relentless battle with the weeds - not so fun - but I think... well worth the effort as I would be over-run in a few weeks!

I have planted all sorts - potatoes, garlic, onions, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, chard, kohl rabi (great name!), broad beans (to see if I can overcome my immense dislike of them when I was a child, and also to see if MY children will like them!) dwarf beans, beetroot, runners, peas, parsnips (rubbish germination rate - any hints??), swede, salad leaves, carrots, courgettes, radish, tomatoes, sweet peppers.

In our conservatory... cucumbers, which are seeming to go at great guns - only hope the startings of the cucumbers turn into at least baby cucumber sized morsels!

We have also started the harvesting of the vegetable crops - we have had more salad leaves than we can cope with!, radishes (now on my third sowing!) and baby turnips. All very good, and satisfying.

I cannot put into words how much I am enjoying spending time in the garden, I come in from work, and go and have a potter, it is just so relaxing.

So far so good, and I do have little helpers - my children (Haley and Amy) both love to water when asked, and also love to harvest the salad leaves!

The picture I am posting is of one of my vegetable beds - growing with cabbages , purple sprouting broccoli and garlic. Some of the vegetables in pots have since gone into the garden! Only taken a week ago, and already out of date!!

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by: Anonymous

Parsnips take forever to germinate, even with good seeds.

I like to plant them in a separate little bed (on a matrix) where they won't get shaded out by other faster growing plants. I plant them about 4 inches apart in both directions. They like warm soil to get started, so don't get too impatient.

This year my parsnips took almost a month to sprout and then looked puny for another two weeks. Just recently they look like they want to grow and I notice that just about every seed eventually sprouted.

I am a big proponent of raised garden beds, especially for things like parsnips. Some scrap lumber made into a four by four bed (raised about four or five inches) is perfect for parsnips.

Each February you can add some good soil and organics to the bed to get it ready for the next summer.

Broad beans and parsnips... mmmm, mmmm.

Happy gardening!

Great Site, Photos And Blog
by: Anonymous

I think I'll be coming back to this great site/blog as a newby who's just about to start building his raised beds.



Looks Great
by: Anonymous

Monty is the man on such things - your patch looks great!

What An Amazing Start, Bea!
by: Uncle Lol

Hey... you did it, you posted about your experiences.

Well done everyone, it looks amazing and what a great job. I hope you will give me some tips Bea.

You'll just love the broad beans even if it's only because you grew them.

Can't wait to see your vegetable garden personally - then we'll talk about parsnips.

Love to all.

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