366 Days of Gardening! E19 – W11 [4]

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There Are Many Ways to Garden Your Plantings….

“Quick and easy to read gardening post!”

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Our new polycarbonate greenhouse!

Part 4 …

366 Days of Gardening Directory

E19 – W11

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Windowsills and Containers

Part 3 – Small Spaces and Raised Beds

Part 4 – Greenhouse and Backyard Plot

Part 5  – Potagers and Ornamental Garden Beds

Helpful Links and Videos

Growing in Greenhouses

Traditionally, greenhouse vegetable growing was ideal for the ability to allow the gardener to both grow on seedlings and plantlings for the actual garden pots and plots, as well as have plants that required a bit more protection from the constantly changing weathers or alternatively for trialing out new vegetable varieties that needed and required a more stabilised and controlled setting.

For me, l tend to use the greenhouse as a covered workstation – an outdoor shed for holding my special seedlings and plants but also and just as importantly the first place that l actively sow my seeds and by performing those tasks under cover l am protected from the elements. Unless l suddenly sneeze, it’s much harder for the breezes to scarper seeds off my hands inside and under cover.

The greenhouse is an ideal location not just for your vegetables, but everything else, flowers, herbs, shrubs and fruit plantlings and seedlings. It also acts as another form of cloche control.

Here l start seeds off [as in sowing in the greenhouse], then l move the seeded trays to house [especially the early starters], then they return to the greenhouse to harden off [for smaller ones] or for slightly bigger and hardier plants they go under glass into one of the raised beds or pots which acts as an intermediary cloche before the plants are left by themselves.

Pending the size of the greenhouse, plants can be grown on and stay in for the whole season … l will be using ours for aubergine and pepper grow ons and some herbs that need inside protection. Plus our recovering Ava the Avocado will be living in here for the summer months.

Typically many growers still use greenhouses not so much for exotic varieties of vegetables but for the basics such as potatoes in growbags, cucumbers and tomatoes in pots, carrots in containers.

If you don’t have lots of space in the garden or backyard, don’t have a conservatory but do have a greenhouse, then you might be surprised what you can grow in them!

Of course there are variations to the greenhouse today, l suppose ours might be classed more as a glasshouse, whilst others might describe longer housing as greenhousing and let’s not forget the newer polytunnel systems.

Check out some of the videos below … for tips, tricks and ideas… from constructing a greenhouse of your own to growing and planting within…

Growing in Backyard Plot

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The most practical and favoured approach to vegetable gardening for many gardeners has been the traditional way to farm vegetables and that is sowing and growing direct from the land itself – backyard or plot or row gardening. It is centuries old…..

Before l used to live with Suze here in Kent, l lived as a bachelor [after the caravan years] in a village just outside Spalding in Lincolnshire, called Whaplode Drove. I lived next door to a chap who at that time [2012] was 73 years of age and had been gardening since he was 4 where he alongside his older brother helped their father with his own backyard plot.

He had never, once since growing his own , ever bought vegetables from the shops .. he only grew conventional vegetables and only grew vegetables he knew he could grow whatever the weathers in England. He had a general distrust of anything ”’foreign”’ and so NEVER ate anything ””foreign”’ and by that l am not talking far off places like India or Asia which were already excluded .. foreign to him was everything not England – Ireland was still England to him! But from France and beyond  was foreign! You couldn’t tell him anything different ….

His entire garden was 100% garden plot, front and back was dedicated to vegetables and fruit – he didn’t believe in herbs apart from mint and ‘parsley’ and he would never dream of growing flowers unless you could eat them!

But he was also a natural forager and knew what wildside and roadside greenery you could eat, he taught me additional learnings of this art and there is a lot of bounty naturally if you know what you are looking for. I think l covered it lightly somewhere before now, but l might run a small series later on in this season.

He didn’t believe in raised beds or pots or containers, he would only use native soils. He composted everything and had a marvelously rich compost – he didn’t sieve his like l do mine, but that is because he always dug his ground compost into his trenches.

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He grew 14 vegetables types, 3 types of fruit and 2 herbs only – kale, lettuce, runner beans and cauliflower, cabbage and courgette, Brussel sprouts, potatoes, marrow, leek, onion, tomato, cucumber and radish and gooseberry, raspberry and rhubarb.

Nice guy, BUT he farted a lot and l mean a lot and he said that he did that as an appreciation of being an English vegetable backyard plot gardener! Like a salute!

He had a greenhouse which he grew everything on in for his season … but everything he grew in his garden he grew in the soil.

He grew everything in rows, he hoed, raked, watered, hoed and raked some more – he toiled in the soil almost all day in the season from 7am till 7pm. He was an ex military man and his rows were precision marked, precisely 12″ apart and you could march between them! The space between the rows allowed for each plant to grow to its natural size and as such that further allowed for all the leaves to develop properly!

Now because of this method of growing, l cannot deny the actual size of some of his vegetables nor the quality, they were supreme – he was what many might class as a textbook farmer, but the reality is more personal, he was an experienced vegetable grower – basically he knew his stuff!

There is nothing wrong with backyard row farming or gardening …but. It is hard work and long work, it is labour intensive … it involves a lot of digging, heavy soil rotation, hoeing, raking, weeding, watering, stomping …. basically a very time consuming style of gardening.

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You could use your own backyard or if you wished to maintain and manage and allotment garden plot. My next door neighbour the year l moved in, 2012 had just packed up three allotment plots which he ran in addition to his entire garden and the reason he gave was that at 73, he was starting to get a little tired of all the hoeing and raking!

Perhaps this style of vegetable gardening appeals to you more than containers, greenhouses and raised beds?

So, amongst my readership who sows direct to the soil – l know a couple who do. What have you got planted up for the coming seasons?

Catch you later, thanks for reading and see you in part 5.

Rory

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In Case You Missed These Last Year! …

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 1

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 2

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 3

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 4.1

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 4.2

Gardeners Be Doin’ It Too! Part 5

…. you might like to revisit for this year!

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7 thoughts on “366 Days of Gardening! E19 – W11 [4]

  1. I’ve been talking to Older Daughter about your garden and the gardening bug has been nipping her anyway, but my talk and our Sweet Yellow Onion have pushed her into ordering seeds and soil mixes.😂
    I asked her where she was planning on doing it. In the front she says.
    We have a plot about 8×10 feet where we store the trash bins and goat head thorns and other weeds grow. It gets very little sun in the winter but plenty in summer.
    So, I guess we’re gonna grow tomatoes, different lettuce varieties, carrots and potatoes 🤷🏼‍♀️😂
    Younger Daughter has a flower garden in pots on a picnic table outside the trailer she & her partner live in.
    We ARE a gardening family.🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. That’s excellent news – l will be doing a post today/tomorrow about how l think people will return to gardening during this crisis and maybe it will stick.

      Yay to the onion 🙂

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