The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Growing vegetables all year round: October 2009 kitchen garden update

Posted in Vegetables | 12 comments

Growing vegetables all year round: October 2009 kitchen garden update

  I thought that you might like to take a peek at our extended kitchen garden. Some of the paths are new and no rain for weeks has taken its toll but over the winter they will perk up. The layout is nine 12’x12’ beds and we are planning an 8’x 8’ asparagus bed. I traded some decorating for the wood (it’s going to be a raised bed with new top soil from the Fens).  This means removing the last of the roses and it’s a project earmarked for next Spring. We’ve discovered that the old kitchen garden – the part enclosed by the blue...

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We are finally growing leeks

Posted in Vegetables | 12 comments

We are finally growing leeks

When John Coe reverses into our drive he sits for several minutes in his car before he gets out and opens the boot. I’ve never have the nerve to ask him why. I just open the front door and leave it slightly ajar. This morning he was loaded with carrier bags, gardening gloves and his wellingtons when he pushed the door into the kitchen. “I’ve brought you a lettuce.” He opened the bag gently to reveal a large head of butter lettuce. The kind that my mum used to buy when I was growing up. Do you remember those simple salads, lettuce...

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Giving away plants and watering

Posted in Vegetables, Watering | 12 comments

Giving away plants and watering

“I gave him some purple sprouting broccoli plants and told him to net them. A week later he rang me to say that the pigeons had eaten the lot.” John Coe peered at me, eyebrows raised over his coffee cup. “And then he had the nerve to ask for replacements! No chance. I’d cared for those small plants for months.” If you give away plants you have to let go of them there and then, and not get upset if you see dried out husks still in their pots a couple of months later. This only happens occasionally. It’s generally with new gardeners...

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