I love that so many people are becoming more and more enthusiastic about growing their own produce. Allotments waiting lists are several years long and eager gardeners are turning to gardens, patios, balconies and windowsills in a bid to give life to tasty, fresh, home-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs.
If you haven’t tried it yet, do give it a go – it’s easier than you think and so satisfying – there’s nothing like popping into your back garden instead of the local supermarket for super fresh produce that you’ve grown yourself!
Pete and I have been growing an increasing variety and volume of vegetables for several years, increasing the space year on year, and we’ve finally reached our goal of converting our whole back garden into a kitchen garden. This year we’ll be growing many vegetables we’ve grown before (potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, cabbages, leeks, sugar snap peas, peppers, sweet corn, carrots and parsnips) and a selection of things we haven’t (purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce and gherkins).
Plus, this year, we’re finally growing some fruit too. With the exception of a couple of low yield attempts at growing strawberries, and a wild blackberry bush that sprang up in the garden many years ago – much to our dismay, they’re a bugger to get rid of – we’ve no experience with fruit so are very excited.
From a reputable garden centre we purchased a self-fertilising Cox’ Orange Pippin apple tree trained into a flat fan so it can grow in front of the wall and fence without intruding too far into the garden plus raspberry canes and a rhubarb plant (I know it’s technically a vegetable not a fruit but hey, I included tomato in the list of vegetables…). In a pound shop (so not sure whether they’ll survive or grow very well) we also bought a different species of raspberry, a red gooseberry and a tayberry.
I’m really excited about our produce in the year to come!
We still have cabbages and leeks to harvest, the cabbages didn’t do too well – we planted them late and last year gave them very little sunshine to boot. But spring has given them a bit of a boost and some are finally hearting up. We’d better harvest the leeks before they bolt to flower too.
Cox’ Orange Pippin
Rhubarb and fruit canes
[Note: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but it was queued to post behind some others. The photos are from March 23rd; the seedlings have come on quite a bit since then and we’ve just harvested the leeks and some of the cabbage]