It has just passed the Winter Solstice and from now on the days will get longer and longer. Currently we are on our 3rd day of unseasonably warm weather. It's a fools paradise though as from tomorrow our temperatures will begin to drop again and the rain will hit.
While our thoughts are still on fires, sticky puddings, thick duvets, rain and soups spring is actually just around the corner when there is so much to do in a vegetable garden to get ready. Our time is also shortened as this year I am taking my two daughters to the UK for 2.5 weeks in October and this is normally a very busy planting time.
This weekend I grabbed some time to think through my late winter garden as a lot of what I had planted in autumn is already eaten and in a few weeks I will have empty beds if I don't get some seeds started soon-soon.
I have a friend who is meticulous in her planning and the implementing of the plan and she is a real inspiration. I am however a little too random to stick to my plans fastidiously, but I am trying to at least keep some sort record of when~what~where.
I used to plan on paper, but then I would loose the papers and I couldn't remember from one season to the next what had been in the bed before and it was anyones guess if I had planted tomatoes in the same place last season. This is a real no-no when it comes to sustainability in the home veggie garden.
2 years ago I started used this online garden planner and it is a great help for taking my thoughts and plans and storing them somewhere they won't get lost or forgotten. My plans for my late winter garden are published to the website.
This is our kitchen garden as it stands minus the potatoes which will go into the ground in the next two weeks.
The second plan is the bigger area which we created in 2010.
From these plans I have created our spring planting. They seem very samey each year but I now grow lots of what we enjoy eating or what often comes up in the recipes we choose. I also do not plant purple carrots and black corn (as excited as some get about these variations, they simply do not do it for me!)
I have also given up my dreams of growing enough onions and garlic for our annual use. I have tried 3 years in a row and always get a disappointing yield. We use so much of these two vegetables that I would have to give over such a large amount of space to give us what we need and they are slow growing crops which means that I cannot get as much use out of my beds with higher yielding faster growing veg.
Here are the same areas for spring.
Spring kitchen garden
Here are two great videos I watched this week about organising your seed and about getting higher yields from your garden space.