We Love Cooking! + vegetable

:: Kitchen Garden Diary: Spring 2010

Last year I tried my hand at growing a vegetable garden and although there were major fails like when my spinach went to seed and when my courgettes were eaten by slugs, there were also major success stories like when I harvested big heavy baskets of broad beans and pulled mysterious looking red cabbages from their stubborn roots! Those were the really proud moments of the whole experiment and made it all worthwhile! I made the conscious decision not to blog about it last year, partly because I was totally winging it and partly because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, but I think this year it's time to let everyone in! I am still by no means in anyway an expert so I would like this little kitchen garden diary to be more of a journey which I will share any tidbits of the knowledge I pick up along the way which hopefully might inspire to get into the garden yourself!

My plans for the vegetable garden this year are already under way, and I have been speaking to lots of gardening people in the know, a few of whom will be popping up on the blog in the coming months. One of the many things I learned from last years experiment was to get as much advice as possible. The people I have spoken to, from home growers to professional gardeners are all so incredibly passionate about what they do and are more than happy to have lengthy conversations about what to grow, when to grow it and even the best ways to cook them. If you do know someone who grows their own veg, give them a call, sometimes the best advice you can get is from people you already know. An essential buy for me last year was a really decent book about growing vegetables, "Grow Vegetables" by Alan Buckingham is fairly extensive and details growing in even the smallest spaces, also after watching Carol Klein's passionate BBC series I bought her book, "Grow Your Own Veg" which is a pretty straightforward and informative book.

You can plan your garden in advance earlier in the year, but March is really go time in the gardening world, with a huge variety of seeds being recommended to be sown now. I have been lucky enough to nab my lovely aunts back garden to grow my veggies which has now become my very own little allotment. I am pretty sure she has mixed feelings about me trudging through the house with muddy feet but it all pays off when the veggies arrive. I was busy in the garden yesterday as Sean Gallagher from patchworkveg.com installed 3 amazing raised veg boxes which are perfect for growing in. I will be showing you the pics from the full installation process during the week because these beds are ideal for people who haven't grown before! I am heading out to pick up some seeds today which can be sown this month, I will be picking up onions, cabbage, broad beans, peas, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes and spinach. Another tip is that Lidl and Aldi both have really cool mini greenhouse sets you can pick up on offer at the moment, they are perfect for starting seeds out and mean you can keep them outside without the frost getting at them!

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:: Kitchen Garden Diary: Spring 2010 + vegetable