Monday, 21 March 2022

My Growing Space Has Gotten Smaller and Smaller ...



A bit of sunshine and all us green-fingered folk are itching to get planting aren't we  🌳  

But there's an icy edge to the breeze at the moment, and although I got Alan to tip the three bags of compost that we bought last year into the new raised bed ready for some planting next month, I quickly covered it with opened out bags that it came in, weighted down with some leftover bits from building the bed last year so that the soil underneath can warm up ready for planting next month.


 I did pinch a bit of the newly opened compost to put into these little pots to start off some seeds though.  It was nice sitting in the sun on the patio dibbing away and sowing the seeds.  Mostly vegetables but a couple of pots of flower seeds too.  And that larger green planter in the background got some flower seeds sprinkled into it too.

Taking that top photo which shows the whole of my growing space for this year made me think back to my previous vegetable growing areas.


This one was when we lived in Oxfordshire on our first farm, this photo shows just the vegetable beds behind the house, we grew all our own  onions and potatoes here, the pigs used to love home grown potatoes.    We also had a 12ftx 25ft polytunnel next to the small pig enclosure and orchard and another assortment of raised beds behind where I was stood to take this photo filled with more onions, salad crops and lavender ... lots of lovely lavender.


This was the first growing year at our rented small holding, utilising the plastic beds that we had brought with us from the first farm.  The wind had kindly ripped down the polytunnel and left them all exposed for us to disassemble.  Here we just had about 5.5 acres, mostly given over to field and chicken enclosure.


And look who's photo I found in the same file as the last one ... a very young and pretty Suky.


And of course most of you will remember our small holding in North Wales before we moved back to England.  Lots of growing room on the hillside along side the little orchard and Summer chicken run. 

 With the green Net Tunnel, designed with a wire mesh bottom layer to keep the pesky hillside rabbits off some of our salad crops and with space for the Blueberries, so we could eat them instead of the birds ...


... and the polytunnel, filled with the tender indoor type crops, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, and delicate leaves etc.

These two tunnels were also 12ft x 25ft as it was a size that really suited us.


My new growing space is just 6ft x 8ft ... and that is the total floor space, the actual raised bed is much smaller. So I can see that I'm going to have to get very inventive this year.  My main plan is to use the wooden bed for salad crops... spinach, lettuce, radish, spring onions etc and then have some French beans in the small black planter on the opposite side, with some Bags for Life being lined up along side it for a few potato plants.  Oh and a couple of large pots for courgettes.


And of course I can't forget my little tin bath at the front door, which is very handy for snipping herbs from when I'm in the kitchen, so it adds another couple of foot of growing space.  I might put a few garlic cloves in here too, all that wasted space makes me want to fill it a little bit more.


My newly sown seeds were basking in the early morning sunshine when I pulled back the curtains this morning. 


Sue xx



26 comments:

  1. Blimey Sue, that's such a massive difference in growing space.....yes you'll have to be VERY inventive! I suppose you could possibly have things in hanging baskets or wall pots?

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    1. It really is :-)

      I'm actually relishing the challenge. No I can't put too much on the wall as I would struggle to be able to water things, but I might try a something along those lines.

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  2. So, so different but I know you will get maximum benefit from every square inch. Lovely!
    xx

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    1. It's going to be a good challenge, a think a lot of successional sowing is called for :-)

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  3. I am sure you will do well with your garden. It is probably better for you with your back issues. Hugs.

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    1. I hope so.

      Yes we were only saying that the other day, I couldn't have even walked up the hill to get to my old vegetable beds on the hillside if we were still there or been able to stand for long in the polytunnel to sow and repot things.

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  4. We've been planning our growing season over the weekend. We're holding tight for now though as we had a frost last night. Don't want to get caught out.

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    1. No I won't don't worry, it will be a while until the seeds come through and then they will be undercover in the raised bed for a while before being exposed to the elements. There's always a chance of frost as late as May here in the North West.

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  5. May all your seed sprout and your plantings flourish...Happy Spring!

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    1. Aww ... thank you, that's a nice little mantra. :-)

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  6. That's a heck of a size difference but I'm still amazed at how you coped with it all. I couldn't have done it. I just know you will make the most of every inch you have now, Sue, and will be eating home grown food for months ;)

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    1. Small amounts of homegrown food for sure, but to be able to add something to every meal would be nice, and homegrown spinach for my smoothies again would be lovely.

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  7. That's the 'trouble' with clear blue skies this time of year - very tempting to start lots of things but the weather lady said there will be a frost here most nights this week.....brrrr....

    Hope all your seeds do well and fill your space with food.

    I can't look at photos of our smallholding days as it makes me too sad.

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    1. Don't worry my little seeds ... and hopefully seedlings ... will be safe on the windowsill for a while. It's a lovely sunny spot first thing in the morning for them.

      I can understand how you feel, one day hopefully you will be able to and relish the achievements you had together, but it's so very hard isn't it. xx

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  8. It sounds like you have it all planned out. I love the idea of having all the salad vegetables in one bed. If anyone can deal with the reduced gardening size you can!

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    1. I'm going to try and grow those things that can cost so much and can be picked in small amounts, spring onions, 'cut and come again' salad leaves etc. I should still be able to save a lot of money over the Summer months.

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    2. That would be such an interesting project to follow along with Sue. With your creativity and experience, I’m looking forward to keeping up with you. Julie C

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    3. We will see how it pans out, at the very least I'll learn what not to do next year ;-)

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  9. I have forgotten if 'next door' is laid out to concrete and if Alan intends to grow anything.

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    1. It's all one garden, behind where I stood to take the photo of my area is a bark chippings area, next to that a pebbled area and near the patio doors it's the Indian Stone that you can see in my growing area. No concrete.

      Alan has never grown anything other than Figs, he wouldn't even have grass here which is why we have pebbles :-)

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  10. You certainly know what you are doing and I wish you the best of luck with your crops this year! Happy Spring, Sue!

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    1. Hopefully it's all still in the deepest recesses of my mind .

      Happy Spring to you to, it's a season of hope and new beginnings.

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  11. Like you I'm itching to start off some things. I will sow stuff that I comes to fruition quickly ans stuff that I can take with me in pots. Just because I hope to move doesn't mean I can't grow bits and pieces.

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    1. Exactly, things grown in pots are so transportable. When we moved in here last year I brought three courgette plants with me and once transplanted they romped away. Growing your own is just good for the soul.

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  12. Wow you have had some land! We have a very small plot of land like yours and it is highly sort after in Tokyo. So we have to plan carefully. I did start to design a garden last year, but it went horribly wrong with the designer so I sacked him.
    So I am doing my own thing. Mum sends me seeds and bulbs and garden answers magazine which contains free seeds. But I fly home tomorrow for 2 weeks to see my family. So I think a few garden centre visits are in order and lots of buying!!! Even if the bulbs I have already planted have started to sprout! Glad to see you are blogging again. I was worried about you!

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    1. We have over the years yes :-)

      Initially 10 acres, right in the middle of a 600 acre farm in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside, then when we decided to go for the smallholding life we downsized to 5.5 acres to save on the rent money while we got our deposit together, then we bought the 5 acres in Wales. And now I can talk in feet and inches instead of acres and yards.

      I got my first seed collections together by taking the magazines up on their offers and then started buying in September each year when the garden centres sell off the packets at 50p each. I kept all the magazine for re-reading each year for the first few years, while I was learning on the job.

      I haven't really stopped blogging, there were 31 posts in January, 24 in February and 18 up to now this month. So there are only little gaps every now and then.

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