The New Kitchen Garden Is Taking Shape & Seed Sowing Begins

At the beginning of each month I usually post ‘What to do in the kitchen garden’, but as this is now repeated each year I will just put a link to each month instead.  I will then have the time to write about other things that I have been doing.

‘What to do in the kitchen garden in March’ can be found here, if anyone is interested.

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There has been a couple of days this week where I have actually taken my coat off while working outside in my new kitchen garden as the sun was shining and it was just lovely to hear the birds singing.

I started off the week by planting two ‘Victoria plum trees’ that I ordered at the same time as the apple and pear trees that I planted last week.

I have read on various occasions that plum trees do not grow well as cordons, which is why I decided to plant them in pots, as I am short of space in my garden.

When the roots have filled these pots. I will replant them into bigger pots.

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I then turned my attention to the shady side of my kitchen garden. 

The top corner of my garden receives no sun whatsoever, so this seemed a good place to store my canes,etc. and have my two compost bins.

I laid the two broken old slabs that I found buried in the soil and put my old compost bins on top of them.  I put the bins on slabs so that mice and rats can’t enter them from underneath.  The bins have no drainage underneath, but they have made wonderful compost in my garden over the years, which is why I decided to keep them.  It will seem very strange making compost on such a small scale now, compared to the vast amount of compost bins and heaps I had at my allotment.

I also neatly stored the few things I salvaged from my old allotments:

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This area looked really ugly from my kitchen window so I decided I needed something to screen the area off.  I found the cheapest way to do this for now was to buy a pallet for £1 from my local garden centre and paint it with some old fence paint that I had lurking in my shed, so it blended into the garden….and it does look better from my kitchen window now:

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I then decided that the shady side of my plot would be a good place for my jeruselum artichokes.

I brought a big metal pot back from my allotment in January, which unfortunately had no bottom as it had rusted away.  I thought this would be good to contain my jerusalem artichokes as they are well known for spreading and I didn’t want this to happen.

I dug a great big hole to sink the pot into the soil and wiggled my fork deep into the bottom of the hole to help with the drainage on my heavy clay soil.

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I then filled the pot back up with a mix of soil and compost and planted five jerusalem artichokes into it.

(I bought the jerusalem artichokes from the allotment in January and they have been sitting happily in a pot of soil waiting to be planted).

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I have continued to dig the new kitchen garden to make ‘fixed beds’ and I have now finished one side of the plot and I have managed to dig my first two beds on the remaining side.  The soil is such heavy clay, the digging really is hard work, but I console myself with the fact that it will never be this bad again if I keep improving the soil each year.

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Along the right hand fence I replanted some comfrey that I brought back from my allotment and I also replanted the rhubarb that I had just ‘heeled’ into the ground, as I wasn’t one hundred percent sure where I wanted it to go.  This area receives only a few hours of sunlight each day in the summer, so I will need to see how well the comfrey and rhubarbs does….though I suspect it will be fine.

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So the kitchen garden is beginning to take shape:

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I also finally started some seed sowing this week.  It is very strange to only sow a few seeds at a time, as I have been used to growing for four allotments.

I have sown  cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and tomatoes (to grow in my greenhouse) and I have sown some red and white cabbage for outside and corianda and mixed lettuce leaves (for my window sill).  I have also sown some lobeilia as I love this in my hanging baskets and it is so expensive to buy.

  I decided to start my onion sets off in newspaper pots to give them an early start and I finally got around to planting my garlic in pots, though I am extremely late doing this so the bulbs may not split into cloves as they should….but I thought I would give it a try anyway.

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The onions and garlic are in my cold greenhouse and the rest are in propagators inside my house.  I do have a greenhouse heater, but it is expensive to use so I try not to use it until I have too many seeds to keep inside.

Just in case anyone reading wants to know how to make newspaper pots, you can read about it here.

Newspaper pots are great to make as they are extremely cheap and environmetally friendly to use, as the recycled materials decompose when you put them in the ground.  This also helps the plants that do not like root disturbance, e.g. swedes, that can be sown in the pots and then planted a few weeks later, still in the newspaper pots.  The plants find it easy to grow their roots through the damp pots when they are in the ground.

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Anyway, that’s enough for today.

  I hope you still enjoy reading my blog, even though I have given my allotments up – I still enjoy writing it.

I am looking forward to the challenge of growing as much fruit and vegetables as possible in my small

7.5 meter x 6.4 meter plot.

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I will be back next Friday at my usual time.

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20 thoughts on “The New Kitchen Garden Is Taking Shape & Seed Sowing Begins

  1. hello,
    again is a busy week behind you. You work very hard in your kitchen garden. so many seeds. tomorrow i will seed out my tomatoes and zinnnias,i love zinnias.
    and every week there is something new in your kitchen garden to discover.I grow fruit trees also in pots. love the photo of your washing on the clothes line.
    have a nice week,
    love and hugs regina

    • I didn’t realise my washing was in the photo….never mind it proves I do hang it out to dry lol. Zinnias are pretty aren’t they, no wonder you grow them for your garden.

      Have a good week too

  2. Hello! It’s looking great!
    I’m fascinated with those houses in the background! Australian houses are rarely that neat, unless your in a particular area! They are several houses joined together, yeah? Like in Five Children and It by trot Nesbit?
    I love seeing your blogs come up on my FB feed. It’s always a pleasure 😋😋😋😮

    • Thanks Mrs Yub! The houses you see are very standard in the Uk, we usually have streets here that are lined with either semi-detached houses (like mine) or detached houses. If you go to ‘posh’ streets the houses will be a lot bigger. I used to live in a ‘terraced house’ where every house is attached to another house either side-it was much warmer than the house we are in at the moment for this reason. Hope you are well Mrs Yub…how’s your garden and chickens?

      • Hi! Sorry for the late reply! My email is loosing posts again :/
        My garden is going steady. There isn’t and abundance of anything as we have needed to supliment most of our meals out of it recently, but it is holding up nicely.
        I have silverbeet, spinach, purple kale, zucchini, squash and radish all being eaten out of it now, with seedlings of kale, spinach, silverbeet, radish and carrots all coming up. I’ve put down seeds of salsify, parsnips, fennel, and rocket, and I’m waiting for my egg plants to for fruit big enough to eat, and my tomatoes to finish fruiting so I can pull them out.
        In my fruit trees, I’m waiting only for my pomigranit to ripen, but I have small lemons and manderines on my little trees, and the Orange is flowering! Is smells heavenly! Next year I should have apples as well 🙂
        My chooks have rebelled over the 10 degree temperature drop and have all but gone off the lay ( it went from mid to low thirties to mid to low twenties over night), but out of the nine of them I still get at least one egg a day!
        I’m off to read your next blog now 🙂 🙂

  3. Wow – you’ve got so much done already! I was out this afternoon and it was indeed glorious to be accompanied by birdsong! This weekend will see a good old sowing of different seeds – such an exciting time of the year. Enjoy the lovely weather x Jane

  4. It is great to hear all your news from the kitchen garden, you have done so well, we are continuing digging up at the land, and tomorrow i am out in my garden tidying and setting seeds like you, we have had some lovely days, and the birds are in full song now spring is here, at long last!
    Sue

  5. We planted a cox’s orange pippin this week. They’re not common here and they are my husband’s favourite. I haven’t planted anything else yet. I cant believe that it’s the second week of March and I am behind already!!

    • Me too, time is going so fast. Where abouts are you queen of string?…I only ask as I had a cox’s orange pippin at my old allotment. It was one of the first trees I bought for the allotment…..it never did very well though and I never got an apple off it and it died eventually after a few years lol………it looked a bit dodgy when I first put it in the ground though and I should really have taken it back.

      • I’m near Vancouver, BC :-). We have a lot of sun in summer and it’s a local grown tree. I have great hopes for it! (I used to live in the UK, I love reading your blog, it reminds me of “home” ).

      • Goodness, you are a long way away….do you miss the UK? I bet the summers are lovely though. I love being able to speak to people all over the world via my blog….the internet has many flaws, but this certainly isn’t one. Thank you for reading my blog and keeping in touch.

  6. Hi there,hope things are improving with Judy!The garden is looking great.I was just wondering if you could advise me on which variety of rhubarb plants you use?Thanks Louise

    • Hi Louise. I inherited the rhubarb from my allotment so I am really not sure what variety it is…though I must say it has really produced some great rhubarb over the years. I suspect it is a variety called ‘Timperley early’ but I can’t be sure.

      Thank you for asking about Judy. She has calmed down in the house a little bit during the last week and isn’t barking at the least thing quite so much inside now, so maybe the tablets are starting to kick in (I read it takes between 4-6 weeks to show any difference). Unfortunately outside is still a big problem and she still runs the other way when I pick the lead up as she really doesn’t like walks. Saying that though, yesterday I had a little break through on the park as she looked at me and actually wagged her tail…this is a first since we have had her….lets hope this is the start. I have started to train her again at a distance from other dogs again on the park, though I am only taking her out 2 or 3 times a week now to keep her stress levels down. However, our garden is a different story and all I can do when the neighbours dog is outside is hold her and keep feeding her treats in the hope that she will associate the dog with something nice…she does take the treats now which is an improvement as she didn’t before, but at the moment she really is unhappy when he is outside at the same time. It is such a shame they decided to get a dog after we did, as poor Judy has no escape outside now.

  7. So lovely to see everything starting up. You’re doing a great job with your new kitchen garden. I have comfrey growing in full shade at the bottom of a north-facing wall, squeezed in by my compost bins, and it does fine. I’m really looking forward to following your progress on your new garden this year. CJ xx

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