A good use of space

Exactly year ago I wrote a post describing a small patch of ground at the end of our house that was completely unused and explained my plans to make it into a productive area. We had mixed fortunes with it because of the weather, but the containers that we planted up did yield good crops of both mange tout (grown up the fence) and lettuce, as well as some delicious potatoes and oca. We are hoping that we will have better growing weather this year and that this little area will provide us with lots of food again.

I've got a plan!

I’ve got a plan!

Over the past few weeks we have been planting up a variety of ‘containers’ for this spot: dumpy bags with four different sorts of potatoes in them, bags containing oca, pots of mange tout and what was previously a rather unsuccessful strawberry planter that has now been planted up with lettuce and basil. I started off with a design on paper, based on our successes last year. It’s not fully implemented yet and I have been making slight adjustments as I go, but I’m feeling very hopeful.

The potatoes are growing in a mixture of garden compost, grass clippings, shredded paper and cardboard all contained in the big bags that building materials are delivered in. As the grass breaks down it releases heat and so that should boost growth and help the plants along even if the weather is poor this summer. Rather than ‘earthing up’ we will be ‘grass and papering up’ as the season progresses.

Potatoes in dumpy bags and a strawberry planter seeded with lettuce and basil

Potatoes in dumpy bags and a strawberry planter seeded with lettuce and basil

One of the real joys here is that the only things that cost us anything were the seed potatoes (all blight resisters). In fact, the whole of this area is based around waste products, homemade items and things that we already had lying around the garden. So, fingers crossed this year for abundance in this tiny part of the garden!

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