Planning what to grow in a small area is so difficult! I have been chasing myself around in circles for a couple of weeks now, trying to decide what is in and what is out. First I line up all the vegetables I love to eat and would love to grow, then I cut out everything I cannot grow in a container. Finally I try to make some attempt at a logical plan for the space we have which does not give us everything all at once. This last step is the most difficult by far; I have not mastered succession cropping yet and summer vegetables are much more tempting than winter ones!
I decided to buy my seeds from Real Seeds this year. They have a really nice selection including some unusual varieties. I love their descriptions and every time I look at their website I get really excited about the growing season ahead! I have limited myself to 6 packets of new seeds because I want to mix new varieties with some of the crops we grew last year.
I am not going to give away what is planned just yet; the seeds are ordered and as soon as they arrive I will get sowing and be sure to blog about it all! Here are the principles I used for this year’s garden plan;
1. Choose some early fruiting varieties which will be finished in time to get a winter crop in the ground. For example peas should be finished by mid- summer in time to let kale take over the space until January.
2. Don’t choose too many crops which take a long time to mature. Tomatoes, summer squash and peas are not all equal- some varieties will take up space in the containers for a lot longer than others.
3. Make sure to choose some pretty things- beans, tomatoes, edible flowers… Make sure that at least some of the plants you are growing are going to be pretty to look at.
4. Only grow what you will eat- I think this is even more important for small space gardeners than people with lots of space. It is great to try new things but if you are going to get kilos and kilos of purple tomatoes or yellow beetroot make sure you will be willing to eat them.
5. Try inter-planting. In a way this is not as easy in containers as an allotment or vegetable patch but it is still possible. Flowers can be sown below climbing plants, quick growing herbs can fill in gaps in space or time and radish should grow pretty much anywhere you can fit a few seeds in.
Impatiently awaiting the post!