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January 1, 2022

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Having just finished our Christmas and New Year cheers, we are already looking forward to the coming garden season. Although it is still winter at the moment, the first sowing moment is just around the corner. We are busy with the preparations for the new growing season and wanted to share what we are up to so you know what you could do while you wait for the cold weather to be over.

Adding compost to garden beds

What winter preparations can you do in your garden?

Our current weather (8°C) is allowing us to do quite some work in our garden. Yesterday we’ve been busy with adding compost on top of our garden beds to continue our No-Dig garden adventure. We’ve added 5 to 10 centimeters of compost to really build up our garden beds since we’ve been dealing with waterlogging issues. While doing so we also dug down a few places just to see how our clay soil has adapted over the last season. Slowly but surely the clay is breaking up and is mixed in with compost giving us better garden beds for next year.

Polytunnel frame 6 by 3 by 2

Winter is also a great time to build any structures that you want to have ready for the next season. For us, that meant rigging up the polytunnel. So far the framing is done and all we need to do is dig the trenches and add the polythene to seal it off. We’ve gone with a 6 by 3 by 2 meter polytunnel so that should give Nicole enough space for all her flowers that need some extra care and maybe also some space for some heirloom tomatoes!

Charles Downding Vegetable Calendar
Charles Dowding’s vegetable calendar 2022

Making a garden plan for next growing season!

Now that the season is done and we’ve got loads of time on our hands we can start looking at the garden plan for the next season. Last season’s vegetable garden plan didn’t really go as planned because of the wet weather so we want to adjust a little bit and create a back-p plan for bad weather. Our main timeline will be based on Charles Dowdings Vegetale Calendar and also based on what we’ve learned from last season.

Brussels sprouts ready to harvest

Things that we wrote down to keep in mind:

Grow less at once and spread sowing dates.
Meaning we should plant less of one vegetable at once and think about planting two to three weeks apart. This will help with a wider timeline for harvesting and avoid needing to harvest more than we can eat or leaving the garden bed filled with vegetables we don’t eat.

Protect plants that require protection
We’ve neglected the protection of our crops last season thinking it will be fine (based on growing in our front yard). But since our allotment is in a wildlife area that meant a lot of lost harvest because of rabbits, mice, and birds.

Choose the right companion for garden beds
Since the garden beds are quite long (6m) and some plants need support or protection we want to pay more attention to filling them with similar vegetables and flowers. This way it’s easier to give plants the support or protection they need.

Cosmos Double click pink and rosetta bouquet

Goals for next growing season!

Next to a garden plan, we’ll also set some goals for the upcoming season. Maybe goals is not the right term but definitely things we want to do! One big goal on both our lists is growing Heirloom Tomatoes. We’ve been gathering seeds from seed swaps and found a few unique varieties we can’t wait to try!

Nicole’s goal for this year is to be able to open the flower garden a few times this year for visiting and guided picking. Whereby we will guide you through our flower garden while creating a beautiful bouquet.

Raymond’s main goal for this year is to provide enough food to eat completely from our garden for one month. We’ll create our fruits area and expand the vegetable area enabling us to grow more and a wider variety.

Homegrown flower bouquet

For now, we’ll end this blog and wish you all a happy new year with loads of sun and more harvest than we can muster to consume. And with that, a big thank you for the wonderful support we’ve gotten this year!

Happy gardening!
Raymond & Nicole


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