The 2020 Plan

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The last few tomatoes from the Tiny Tims with the very last tomatillos.

The 2020 Plan

Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20

Doin The Dirt Directory


Suze and l sat down yesterday and really discussed what we wanted to grow for the 2020 Garden Season. We are planning on moving away from Kent or most notably where we are on the coast. Renting wise it costs us nearly £1000 per month which is a lot of money even for what it is, which is basically a two bedroomed bungalow with a view of the sea in Kent. I am oft astonished at the gall of some estate agents – “It has a view!” “Oh what a lovely view!!” A view adds at times an extra £500 on a property in the UK. With a view you could have the worst possible house, falling into a sink hole, tumbling walls and or crazy electrics and if it has a view ‘Well that’s a whole different story!’ I know this from experience because of a rental in the Isle of Wight we took on board in 2015! That thing could have been the sister to The Money Pit!

Most renting in the UK is expensive these days – more expensive than it should be due to landlords not being subjected to regulation or even administrative policing so they can charge what ever the demand will pay. The rental demand is equally as high if not higher than the buyers market. Whilst we can afford to stay here, it is not an expenditure we want to keep fronting out.

Sadly after Scrappy is no longer with us we’ll not be needing a garden of this size nor the high rent because of the bigger garden. We already decided against using raised beds and firmed up the agreement to rely upon gardening using only pots and gro bags. We are not sure where we are likely to rent next year as in region wise, but we do know that despite opting for a smaller property, we would still like some garden space – big enough for pots and quite possibly a small to medium sized polytunnel.

The greenhouse here is ‘okay’ but we didn’t build it and as it came with the rental it has seen way better days. I had a built in internal frame work with sheeting to compensate for it’s weakened glass panes and that has fared pretty well, very well in fact, as the greenhouse is slowly falling down around it!

However, whatever happens, Suze and l hope to be away from here sometime next year – but it’s a huge mystery as to where we are likely to end up! 

We agreed to start planting our seeds in February of next year indoors to ensure a decent headstart to the spring season in comparison to our later seed planting of this year, which began mid to late March and was still going in mid April. I started planting seeds internally in 2017 in late January and early February which whilst it may have been slightly early, the plants themselves were a lot hardier having had that protected indoor  growing time.

If we find ourselves in a position to move in the spring of next year then we do plan to have our vegetable garden in a position to move with us ready for planting out in the new garden area.

Currently the garden is in a bit of a mess, hardly surprising, – with my arm/shoulder problems of last year to this year, l wasn’t able to assist Suze properly like previous years, and of course, we know now that Suze was more run down than even she believed herself to be and after planting a huge vegetable garden out, going to Australia then coming back ill – the garden was the last thing on her mind. BUT, we are both on the game now, and whilst we will take it slower, we do know that we do want to continue gardening – however this garden needs to get its ass whooped into shape again.

The series of photos below shows the ‘garden swing’ as l call it, an arc from left to right … l have a gardener coming in on the 8th October now. We did have one booked earlier but they had problems arise and had to cancel – but this new chap is on a contract with us over three months at 2 days a month at £70 a month and taking away all the garden waste we don’t want for the compost heap, which is a good deal. But because it is over three months, he can correctly trim back all the fruit trees.

Left to right swing – 1 – bushes need trimming back and Hydrangeas need deheading.

The garden isn’t is a seriously bad shape, but it does need attending to and whilst Suze and l could tackle it, it still a bigger job than our own energy levels can cope with just yet. Between us we can tackle some of the smaller jobs like deheading and the such like, but lawn mowings, bush trimming and limb removal or digging up can be handled by someone else.

All the bushes need serious trimming, they are massively tall.

At the start of this year the bushes here were half that size.

The fruit trees need an aggressive prune back and the garden’s centre mound has bushes that now need digging out and removing as they have died.

The vegetable garden is now dying off, the Tiny Tim tomatoes are still hanging on, but they are the very last vegetable plants still awarding us a fruit, although the wild strawberries are looking at a second chance and had a few fruits to offer as well. Everything else is now simply been allowed to die naturally – like the runner beans – ready for the garden clearing that Suze and l can do and much of which will end up in the 2019/2020 compost heap.

I have plans to run and maintain a much cleaner compost this year, which l shall explain in another post, but principally, l am already sieving our current heap down in a much more detailed way to make the compost as a finished product much silkier to work with and hopefully l can make this new heap more nutrient filled and balanced. The compost we used last year was brilliant for some of the plants but may have been too raw for all of them – so we need a much smoother ingredient for next season.

Using a nutrient rich and balanced compost mixture l think will benefit us greatly next year with both our seedlings as well as external plantings and award the plants are real health booster for the season.

Suze and l agreed that this coming year we needed to hyperfocus our attentions on vegetables that 1] we eat more of and 2] can be easily grown in pots and not be ‘raised bed’ reliant.

We have selected about 29 varieties to grow including our strawberries.



Tiny Tim Tomatoes


Black Cherry Tomatoes


Wild Strawberry

Courgette Atena Polka


Climbing French Bean Blue Lake


Onion – Spring – Purplette

Organic – Leek Hannibal

Cucumber Passandra

Elephant Garlic

Cucumber Lemon


Cauliflower Romanesco

Sweet Potato

Organic – Sweet Pepper Bendigo

Calabrese Green Sprouting

Broccoli Early Purple Sprouting

Spinach Red Kitten

Radicchio Palla Rossa

Pak Choi White

Mixed Oriental Leaves

Rocket – Cultivated

Aubergine Moneymaker

Aubergine Clara

Hot Pepper – Cayenne

Beetroot Chioggia

Radish French Breakfast

It looks like a lot of vegetable’s, but it’s actually not that many at all. The example is that this season 2019 just gone we started with 51 assorted varieties … which was a drop from last 2018’s 61 and 2017’s astonishing 73!! All these varieties displayed above are tried and tested by us and are picked for pot success and actual taste and preference. All the seeds are now bought with the exception of the elephant garlic cloves, sweet potato and horseradish slips and blueberry and gooseberry plants. This also doesn’t include the potted herbs we plan to grow, but more on those later on this year.

I’ll write about these vegetable varieties in more detail next year.

Gardening in some respects is a bit like sex – ‘yeah yeah’ you get all dirty – but you play around with a lot of different positions when you start out, but eventually as you get wiser you settle on just a few favourites – the ones that award the greatest satisfaction and results and the ones you don’t have to twist a nut to succeed with!

However – l will leave you with these roses – our roses here also fell victim to this rust blight, but still managed to display a lot of blooms for this year which always makes such a welcome break in the garden, but is also superb for the pollinators.

Anyway l’ll take my leave of you now

Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …

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8 thoughts on “The 2020 Plan

  1. I love your comparison of gardening and sex 😉 and your wonderful plans for your veg garden. May your gardens grow beautifully, Rory, wherever they may be!

  2. Hay Rory,
    Nice post 😀, every time I read one of your posts about gardening I think of that old BBC sitcom The Nabors ( I think it was called ) were they were trying to live off the gred in the city in a small house.


    1. Hey Dawn – do you mean the Good Life? 🙂

      A milestone birthday convinces Tom Good to make a change. He talks his wife, Barbara, into giving up the so-called rat race and joining him in a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency. They convert their suburban home into a farm, planting crops in the back garden and bringing in pigs and chickens (including a rooster they name Lenin). The new use of their property comes as something of a shock to their very proper neighbours, Margo and Jerry Leadbetter. A social climber of the first order, Margo can’t bear having chickens roaming the back garden. She’ll have to put up with it, though, since Tom, despite his desire for self-sufficiency, can’t bring himself to kill the chickens.

      1. Ya that’s it, I haven’t seen that show in ages but I was qwit funny when I was a teenager Margo was a trip and Jerry was her puppet. 😂

        BY FOR NOW

          1. The “Red green show” out of BBC Canada, “Are you being served” , Mister been , Doctor who and there wose one other they had on on PBS that I can’t remember the name of on Saturday nights.

            Pluto tv a move/tv app has the classic Doctor Who on it own channel and some classic sitcom’s like Mister Been on the on-demand list along with some other British sitcom’s and movies that I watch off and on. 😀

            BY FOR NOW

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