Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting Organised

I have finally had time to sit down and order my seed potatoes, onions and garlic and figure out what order I am going to rotate my raised beds. And its something that isn't stopped by the weather, so I have no excuses for taking so long!!

Had another good Saturday in the garden clearing weeds and clearing out the last of the unused veg from the beds. I now only have 2 half of beds to finish off ( but only about 1/4 of the non-raised section ready!) Also, spent a couple of hours on my strawberry bed - it had gone wild with runners. I planted up a whole new bed with the runners as well as filling out the current bed (yes I know it should have been done at the end of the summer, but at least its done now!). A lot of the runners will be donated to friends as there is more that I need once I am sure which will take and which will fail. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the bed beforehand - will try to get some of the finished bed in the next couple of weeks.

Last year I just picked up my onion sets and seed potatoes from a local hardware store, but this year I decided to order online. I ordered the below from Mr Middleton shop online:
After all the blight last year ( even with weekly spraying), I decided to give Sarpo Mira a go for my potatoes. Not going to grow as many as last year, just went with 2.5kg bag. Note - I have searched many of the big name DIY stores around my area and couldn't find this variety which is supposed to be one of the most blight resistant varieties.
Red Baron for my red onions - had these last year and they did wonderfully
Stuttgarter Giant for my white onions
French Shallots - Vigarmor
There is a good selection online - it depends on your personal taste.
Going to try 3 varieties this year - all different. And going to resist my normal temptation to shove a few of my own or last years growth into the ground as this gives a higher chance of rust growing on the garlics.
Garlic 'Elephant', Garlic 'Cristo', Garlic 'Solent Wright'

I had never seen the Elephant Garlic before and got a bit of a shock at the size of the 2 cloves that were sent!
Some serious cloves - you would want to love Garlic to eat these!!!

Anyhow - onto my bed order for the next two years. I have 5 beds in total.

Strawberries /lettuce
Spring Onions & Lettuce/  Shallots – ½ bed each
Shallots /Spring Onions & Lettuce – ½ bed each rotated
Onions/ Leeks / Garlic
Calebrese / Brussels Sprouts/ Radishes
Carrots / Parsnips / Beetroot
Carrots / Parsnips / Beetroot
Onions/ Leeks / Garlic
Calebrese / Brussels Sprouts / Radishes
Calebrese / Brussels Sprouts/ Radishes
Carrots / Parsnips / Beetroot
Onions/ Leeks / Garlic

I have retired the potatoes out of the raised beds as my beds are nearly 2 foot high and I found them hard to dig out. Increased Strawberries to a full bed for this year on their own - I also have a bed in the back garden near the garage of Strawberries, but you can never have enough! :-)
So instead of a rotation of 5 beds, I am reducing down to a rotation of 3 beds and just rotating in the one bed for the other. This is also not an ideal order, but is what works space wise for me based on the veg we like to eat most. Please feel free to leave comments or improvement suggestions!! All feedback welcome.