The edible London garden

21 May 2010

At the end of April last year it was decided that we would grow our own veggies.  Mr H or farmer H as he became known likes to grow stuff and I like to cook and eat it.  We started to plant things late last year but still managed to have a bumper crop during the summer.

Lovely home grown veg

Why did we decide to grow our own?  Well I remember having a veggie patch as a kid and digging up the potatoes with a fork when they were ready to eat.  I recall the excitement & pleasure of plucking them out of the ground.  This and then last year I read about transition towns – small communities of people getting together to grown food on communal land.  The responsibilities of the transition town communities have expanded and they look into various environmental opportunities now.

With a dash of beginners luck and lots of enthusiasm we grew carrots, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, runner beans, aubergine, chilli’s, strawberries, courgettes & sweetcorn from seed. It was brilliant.  I loved going into the garden and picking dinner in the evening – you will never eat anything fresher!

Home grown veg

This year we started planting in March – a whole month earlier than last year and we increased the number of veggie patches from 3 to 4 and all 4 are well placed at the bottom of the garden in the sunshine.  The garden started as a mud pit in February and has been totally designed to accommodate growing our own food!

From this

To this

The beds have some veggies out already but they are small, there wont be any veggies until July at least.  We also have a lot of strawberry plants this year.

Beautiful strawberry plant

More strawberries, with berries & rhubarb.

Strawberries & rhubbarb

Last year we didn’t plan our planting too well, for example we planted all the carrots and all the broccoli seeds in one go which lead to little gluts.  This year, having planted the seeds earlier, there is more time to plan the planting so there is a little of each veggie at a time and for a longer period.  Hee hee hopefully anyway!

This year there are 15 tomato plants – all at different growth stages.  We are aiming for a tomato bed!

 

For the record I am not an expert and not that well read on growing stuff.  I decide what I want to grow, buy and plant the seeds and wait.  Then read about the next stages as I need to know them from either a book or the internet.  I also live next door to the organisers of the Westcombe transition – handy I know!  They are generous with their knowledge, time and extra produce.  We have been known to swap spares over the garden fence.  Country living in London!!

You should get planting.  Either use your own space – any space is enough or find your local transition town group.  If you and a friend plan to grow stuff you can share the expense by swapping seeds.  There are so many in a pack that you won’t be left short of seeds and it is so much cheaper than buying ready grown plants.  Also it is pretty awesome watching seedlings grow and leaves you with a great sense of achievement.

This is the pea garden. 

Lovely peas

Tonight I will be planting out pumpkins, cucumber and more tomatoes!!  I am looking forward to the harvest.


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2 thoughts on “The edible London garden”

    • Do you have any room for pots? – we have a courgette plant growing in a pot. They are pretty fool proof (that’s why we grow them!) and they produce a good yield – up to 20 “fruits” per plant. There is NOTHING nicer than picking a courgette, slicing it up and eat it there and then.

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