I’ll freely admit it. I’ve been avoiding my garden since the evening’s got darker and the plants died off.
Now the time has come to start planting, both inside and out, for the 2023 season.
What worked well in 2022?
What was a failure in 2022?
What do I want to try this year for the first time?
I’m sort of excited about some of the options I’ll have this year. Reconfiguring the greenhouse before last year’s season paid off. Sure, it wasn’t 100% perfect, but it definitely made a positive difference. I’d love to be able to upgrade the irrigation system in the greenhouse, though I’m not sure if I’ll be able to this year.
So what am I thinking about growing both inside and out?
Rhubarb: I planted this a year or so ago so it should be mature enough to harvest this year. I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but that’s a problem I’m happy to have.
Apple: Last year I was able to get enough off my own trees to make some chutney. I’ve no idea if that was just random or if the trees will produce as much again this year.
Tomatoes: these did really well last year. I grew some of the plants from seeds and others were from small plants I picked up locally. I suspect this year I’ll try to do them all from seed. Last year I did fairly well in terms of the supports for the plants, but I didn’t do very well with pruning. Better and more aggressive pruning would have helped. I also need to restrain myself when planting, as they tend to use up quite a bit of space as they grow, while I tend to plant more plants than I should.
Strawberries: these did relatively well but could do better. I need to spend a bit of time on this one. Maybe I need to change how I’m growing them?
Cucumber: these did quite well the last two years and I managed to get a few jars of chutney from them last year. I need to decide how and where to grow them. Will they survive outside the greenhouse? Will they thrive in those conditions?
Carrots: The first round of carrots I planted last year didn’t work out too well, but the other ones came out pretty well. Definitely want to grow them again. I’ve acquired some “giant” seeds from an Italian seed supplier, so we’ll see how well they work out – I’ve done the same with basil.
Potatoes: Hell yes! And weird coloured ones as well please and thank you!
Garlic: Last year these came out relatively well, but not spectacularly. I want to try again
Onion: I didn’t try this last year and I regret it. I’d love to get my hands on some of the smaller ones (pearl) for making some recipes as I’ve never been able to source them locally.
Salads: maybe, but they usually grow more quickly than I can consume them as I get lunch at work.
Basil and other fresh herbs. This goes without saying. Cooking with fresh herbs is so much better than using dry versions. Over the past couple of years my herb garden has ebbed and flowed. Some of the herbs have thrived (bay leaves, sage and rosemary spring to mind), while others have struggled. Basil definitely does a lot better under glass than in the open.
Peppers: The various chilli peppers I’ve been growing have done “okay” but they’ve never really flourished. However they’ve done well enough that I’ve been able to use the peppers to add heat to various chutneys and other things I was cooking. Sweet peppers did well two years ago, but didn’t exactly thrive last year. I’ve no idea why. In any case I’ll definitely be trying again this year.
I’ve also got a few soft fruits growing close to the wall. I pruned them quite aggressively at the end of the season last year so hopefully this year they’ll come back stronger.
I’ve other plans for the garden this year but I’m still trying to decide on a few options.