Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reflections on a growing year

It's always interesting to look back on a year of growing to reflect on what worked well and what didn't in the suburban veg plot. I use this to draw lessons about what I sowed or planted, to decide if a variety didn't grow well because of something I did, or something I didn't do. It helps me decide on the next year's plans - whether I try again with a different technique or cultivation practice or just cut my losses, swap the seeds and use the space for something else.
So, lessons learned in the suburban veg plot in 2011:
  1. Celeriac does not grow well in my garden. It's difficult to germinate, requires lots of tlc during the early stages and then doesn't repay me in kind. Celeriac has no place in the suburban veg plot of 2012.
  2. Leek moth is prevelant in Hertfordshire. However, I'm not being beaten by something that small, so I will keep trimming the affected leeks to the ground and flipping a virtual finger to Acrolepiopsis assectella.
  3. Sugar snap peas do not freeze well. Not unless you actually like soggy pods in your stir-fry. Grow them and cook them; don't try to save them.
  4. Butternut squash is just like those men my mother warned me about. They look impressive when they first show up, promise you the world if you tend to their every need and then leave you with nothing at the end of the day. Oxygen thieves.
  5. You can never grow too many chilli plants. I have yet to find a dish that is not enhanced by the addition of a bit of chilli. Roll on chilli sowing February!


  1. It's good to look back over the growing year, there's always lessons to be learnt. I'll be giving maincrop potatoes a miss this year, and putting more effort in to my sweetcorn.

  2. I didn't do well with sweetcorn this year Jo - am having a year off to try other things ands then I'll give it another go in 2013!

  3. I don't do hot and spicy but I am going to grow some chilli plants next year - they look such attractive plants. May the new year treat you and those that you love kindly and may all that graces your garden flourish xxx

  4. I'm with you on the chillis! My chilli plant flowered twice this year so I was able to have home-grown chilli in my christmas lasagne (I don't like turkey.) Definitely a plant to put back on my list for 2012 but I'll cut back on the amount of strawberries I grow, probably moving them to a few big tubs as they seem to sprawl everywhere. I'm not sure I even like them, I'd rather have raspberries! Happy new year, wish you all the best for 2012!