AUTUMN PLANTING FOR WINTER FOOD

On Wednesday a team of our new CG members turned up to help with the winter planting, following the delivery of the plants I had ordered, and a big thanks first for all the work they put in. So in went the spring and winter cabbages, rainbow chard, lettuces, carrots and broad beans (more about them later).

As I have mentioned earlier, although in charge of this garden, I am still a novice by any standards, so I just got our helpers to plant them in the beds in a standard way, nothing special, and we covered them with netting to protect the plants from those dastardly pigeons. Just how the plants grow over the coming weeks will be interesting, as I will doubtless miss a trick or two along the way in the art of planting and nurturing them, and I may or may not have prepared the beds properly to begin with.

I’ll be the first to admit that, apart from a great team of volunteers, our garden at the moment does not exactly boast the perfect growing conditions. In some ways, however, this just makes things more interesting. Some may see this as me just making excuses, but if you have the perfect conditions to grow vegetables – which in itself is something of an artificial setting – then there is a little drawback, namely predictability. I don’t know about you guys, but I already know what happens if you plant vegetables in perfect conditions, you get vegetables. Personally, I’m more interested in knowing how to grow them in less than ideal conditions. We are, after all, here to learn, and so it is to some advantage to be challenged along the way.

So we have pigeons attacking the vegetables, we learnt to deal with it. The beds might not have been properly prepared before planting, we’ll deal with it. Another cold winter is on its way apparently, we’ll just have to learn to deal with that too. We’re no experts in growing vegetables, so we’ll just have to learn through our mistakes . . . okay, through my mistakes.

Finally, we’re planting broad beans in autumn (don’t ask me, it just came with the delivery), so we’ll just see what happens. After all, with so few things growing in winter, we have room to experiment. Mind you, any tips appreciated!

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