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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

Veggie plot update

So we're four months on since lockdown began in the UK and I started my veggie plot. Those of you who have been following my progress will remember that I started it because in those early days I couldn't settle to either read or write - I needed to do something physical and also something useful.

This is what I've learnt so far that has worked for me. By the way, those cages are to keep the damned cabbage white butterflies away from my cabbages. I never knew there could be so many of the creatures in one garden!

  • I prefer container gardening - raised beds especially - where I feel I have greater control (plus, being clumsy, there is less chance of stepping on the stuff I've already planted!).

  • I don't observe the "plant seedlings 12-18-24 (delete as necessary) inches apart rule. In my very limited experience so far, plants seem quite happy having close neighbours, as long as they get their fair share of water, nutrients and light.

  • I can't grow tomatoes. Don't know why - perhaps I don't give them enough love. Anyway, they seem to be a bit needy and fussy. So far, I've got 2 small, unripe fruits, and that's it.

  • Don't get me started on peas. You need a huge amount of plants to get enough peas for a decent meal.

  • I didn't need to plant 26 lettuces all at the same time. 4 would have been fine for my little family, using the cut and come again method.

  • Sweetcorn don't half take a long time to grow.

  • Growing potatoes in bags is easy, and you don't need to buy seed potatoes, either. I used spuds that had started to sprout because they'd been in the cupboard for too long.

  • I like starting seedlings off in small pots before I plant them out in the raised beds - otherwise I'm wondering if those little green shoots coming up are what I actually planted, or weeds.

  • Don't get overexcited and harvest ally my carrots/onions/potatoes all at once, because I then have a glut and struggle to use them all.

And finally, always, always, always label your pots - otherwise you will inevitably be looking at some brand new seedlings a couple of weeks down the line and wondering what on earth they are.

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