In my last few blog posts, I have talked about getting behind on this year’s growth (The first sowing of 2022, Better Late than Never & Transplanting from greenhouse to veg patch). In part, this was due to the fantastic weather we had in April and May, which felt more like summer than spring, but I was sowing most of my vegetables later than I would have ideally would have done.
The last few weekends have been a big push to catch up and finish off some vegetable garden projects. Since our extension, I have been planning improvements to my vegetable patch to make it easier to grow plants and care for them. The vegetable garden is defined by a chicken wire fence with a central path linking to a space where I grow in pots and the greenhouse. It has taken some time to clear the patch and make it ready to receive seedlings. To keep things moving, I have prepared a different section of the vegetable garden and transplanted seedlings before moving on to the next.
I have also moved my compost bins to make them more accessible to the vegetable garden. Moving the compost bins gave me a chance to turn the content as I relocate them; I hope the compost will decompose a little bit quicker with the introduction of air and a good mix up of materials.
The last change has been in my greenhouse. As the only covered growing space, it is an essential part of my garden but has acted more like a potting shed than a greenhouse. I have used “Grow Bags” to grow tomatoes in previous years once all the seedlings are moved out. While grow bags can be a great option, they increase the amount of plastic I use each year. Being consistent with watering is essential; otherwise, I end up with split tomatoes as they shrink between waterings and then swell once watered. I have now added a permanent raised bed within the greenhouse on the side, which gets the most sun. The bed was made of reclaimed scaffold wood, cut to size and screwed together. Around 70% of the compost came from my compost bins with peat-free compost to top it off.
I have planted three types of tomatoes around 30inchs apart, and, once they have grown a bit, I plan to plant other, shorter plants which like to be mature in a greenhouse in between tomatoes to make the best use of the premium growing space.
In time, I hope to have either a dedicated potting shed or a covered area for a potting table, along with a store for my pots, to create another growing bed in the greenhouse to turn it into a dedicated growing space.
I still have some tidying to do and a few more plants to transplant, but I have managed to get the bulk of the work done to turn my attention to caring for the plants and keeping them watered, fed, and pest-free coming months.