Looking back and learning from 2020

Gardening has been a growing part of my life quite a few years now. Each year I like to take the time to reflect on the things I’ve learnt and will apply in the next season.

  1. Potato Grow Bags – I have grown potatoes for as long as I can remember. In previous years I had an allotment which gave me more space to use for potatoes. since giving up my allotment, I am growing everything at home and do not have the room to spare to grow potatoes in the vegetable patch. The Grow Bags offered an opportunity to still grow potatoes but use less space. My trial of grow bags went well, but the potatoes were smaller than I would like. Next year I will put fewer seed potatoes in each bag and make sure they are watered more frequently to see if it positively impacts yield and size of potatoes.
  2. Over Wintering Crops – Overwinter 2019/20 I decided to grow my onions and garlic. I usually grow these crops from early spring, but, like potatoes, I do not have the space to give over to them during the primary growing season. I had a great crop of white and red onions and garlic – I’m still using this crop and will have some left to see me through to spring – I will be doing the same this winter and all future winters.
  3. Feeding the soil – I am working my vegetable plot quite hard all year round and have noticed the plants are not producing as much as they did in previous years. Like us, plants need nutrients to live, be healthy and produce the next generation. Plants gather their nutrients from the soil, so I need to spend time giving back and improving the health of the ground I grow in. I have added some home-produced compost to one of my beds and covered it to help kill off weeds. I am using a no-dig technique of layering on compost rather than digging it in. There is some evidence that digging the soil damages soil structure, which results in worse outcomes, so I will give this no-dig approach a go.
  4. Grass – My lawn has always been something to walk on and for my children to play on; it hasn’t been a focal point of my garden despite covering most of the garden surface area. I have never spent time looking after it, other than to cut it. I have treated the lawn with weed killer, fed it with lawn feed, aerated it, de-thatched it and cut it in multiple directions: the result – a healthy-looking lawn with less moss and weed.

Looking to 2021

Our extension has been completed, and we are almost finished decorating inside. The garden was damaged during the build, but things are now settled, and I can start to think about making some long term changes to it.

Hard landscaping – We plan to create an outside dining space at the back of our house. Summers are getting hotter and dryer here in the East of England, so it will be nice to have a place to sit and enjoy it. We will use shingle to start with as we cannot afford a patio at the moment. I also want to create some deep flower borders in the front garden, which gets the most sun, and woodland themed garden in the back garden, shaded by fence and trees.

YouTube and the Blog – Life has gotten in the way of creating as much content as I had hoped to produce this year. Despite this, I have managed to make 12 videos and several blog posts. I would like to produce more so I will look to try and create either a blog post or video once a week. I have procrastinated producing content waiting for the weather to be good or for something to happen, rather than just getting on and creating content. I will try to worry less and produced more.

With 2020 almost behind us there is nothing left but to say I hope you had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

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