Saturday, September 29, 2012

Planning for the new season

To mark the changing of the seasons I decided on a new look for the blog. I hope that you also find the new permanent pages helpful!

When we first started out on this veggie growing adventure I felt I had to have all my plans on paper before I could start. It was a good thing that I did this as I am really not very good at sticking to things when I start something big and this was a worthwhile discipline to force on myself.

As time has gone on however I have become more knowledgable and if I am completely honest, I really do just wing it most of the time now. Last year I used an online garden planner and it was good as it helped me get the right quantities of seeds sown for the season ahead and it also reminded me when I tried to plant the same type of veg in the same bed again. This was a great help.

Now that I know what I can grow in each season our garden planning is simply making sure that we have right seeds in our stockpile, compost to go into empty beds and a stash of newspaper pots to start of seedlings.

In our Cape spring we can sow the following:

Squash (marrows-butternuts-pumpkin)
Beans (bush and runner)

There are more that other people grow but these are our main crops. By the time summer hits I need to have all my squash plants setting fruit as we get hit by milddew around the end of December and then it is impossible to keep our plants healthy.

Corn needs a full 90 days to come to maturity so we can plant new seeds until the end of December but by January we do not have enough warm days left to bring this crop to fruition.

Tomatoes are grown and planted until December and harvested through to the end of Autum. A friend had tomato offerings through winter which is not normal, but they were most welcome in her home.

While we can grow potatoes and onions all year we loose 1/3 of our growing space in winter and I prefer to use the remaining 2/3's for broad beans and brassicas so we grow potatoes in spring and summer only.

Other parts of the country get frost, but we are very fortunate not to have to worry about that which means that in Autumn we can begin planting out the slower growing winter vegetables.

Tomorrow will be another big garden day as we have loads of seedlings ready to go into the soil. This signifies an end to our chickens free ranging for the next few months. We then make sure that we bring them piles of sand to pick through, snails from our walks and vet (yes!) and extra greens while they are limited to their coop, large as it is.


wfmborg said...

do you have a link to the garden planner? And a how to on the newspaper pots? only recently found your blog and I'm living it.

Jane said...

LIKE, LIKE, LIKE. Sometimes it would be good to have a like button like fb. LOL But I really do like the new look. It is very user friendly. We had one of the Funky Chickens today and it had lots of very good meat on it. We fed 6 and still have plenty of chicken for sandwiches tomorrow. It was a great buy.