Our First Year

With this being our first year growing, and we had a late start due to the fact Tony and myself had to isolate separately in the first months of lock down, there were many mistakes that were made, and many plans that had been put on hold.

The big plan that we really missed out on was putting the poly-tunnel greenhouse up. It set us back a lot with growing certain veg, that really needed to be re-potted and have space to grow with that extra protection. That is something we will have next year to help us grow some stronger crops.

We also weren’t prepared for the mites and pea moths and caterpillars that devoured our crops. The second lot of strawberry plants were hit with a mite of some description which we did manage to get rid of, but only the plant was saved and 2 strawberries. The peas got what we later found out was pea moth. We managed to get quite a few meals from the plant before the peas were over run and we had to cut our loses and pull out the plants. The sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli were decimated by cabbage white caterpillars. So we need to have a think on what will be best to protect our crops better.

The peppers weren’t separated in time and also needed a green house, but they instead lived in the kitchen window and weren’t re-potted in time. We do have a few small peppers growing on the indoor plants, but with the outside peppers only just flowering now, we are unlikely to get anything on them.

The Chilli’s have started to flower, with one plant looking like it has a chilli starting to grow. These have been grown separate but started a little late, and again not repotted quick enough. But they will be kept indoors with the bell peppers and hopefully we can keep them going for next year with them being perennials.

We do have a little something I like to call the planter of shame. It is essentially a plastic box with handles and not a planter at all. It has no drainage holes but I stuck some compost in it. When I was planting the huge amount of pepper seedlings out, I had loads of seedings left over and didn’t have the heart to bin them, so I stuck them all in there. Well to my surprise they survived, they didn’t get very big, but they are doing well. The planter floods every time it rains and I tip it to drain it off, but they seem to like it very wet. Well I went out today and one of my shame pepper plants has a tiny pepper growing on it! I couldn’t believe it.

We attempted to grow potatoes in sacks, but we have ended up with very tiny potatoes, and a sack full of root system. Although they taste lovely, they won’t even make one full meal for four of us. So learning from this, next year, we will prepare the ground, and grow them in a more traditional way.

The pumpkins needed much more space than we were prepared for, and a good read up on how to grow them properly. We have only managed to grow two pumpkins on one plant, and three plants only had male flowers on them.

The sweetcorn is great, we just learned that more space was needed, one raised bed wasn’t really big enough for them all. But we tried are first one a few days ago, and it was delicious. So I picked a few more and we had them for tea.

Here are a few more pictures from around the garden of things we have grown or bought. Not all of them are edible, but hopefully will be good to draw in pollinators or useful in other ways.

That’s all for now. Stay safe and well everyone.

Kiera & Tony

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