Planning. It’s the buzz word in the grow your own world at the moment, and with good reason too. Now is the time to make and finalise all the plans for the next growing year. Have all the seeds on the list been ordered? When will the order arrive? When do I start sowing? Do I sow indoors or directly into the ground? Have I enough room to grow 6 types of peas and beans?
Being particularly keen to get a good start and make the most of the plot, I started to make my plan over Christmas. I was just about to break out the coloured pencils when I came across a vegetable planner on the D T Brown website. It allowed me to set out the allotment beds as they actually are on the plot. Using the interactive tool, I could select which vegetable I was going to plant, I dropped it into the space on the screen, and as if by magic, it showed me how many I could plant and how much space i needed between rows. Fantastic!
Even better, it also gave me a guide as to when I can start to sow the vegetables and when to expect the bountiful harvest. I have to say, it looks 100 times better than I could have drawn it with my packet of pencils. (Unless it’s stick men, I’m awful at drawing) Whether the allotment actually ends up looking like the plan is another matter.
I’m really looking forward to getting seeds potted up and planted out. I’ve even started to keep a little notebook of what needs to be done month by month to make sure I keep on top of the little jobs too. I never really thought I’d need to plan as much as this, but I’m discovering that indeed if you don’t plan, something could get missed and that special variety of dwarf bush bean you’d spent hours daydreaming about could be completely forgotten about, what a disaster!
Patience. They say all good things come to those who wait, but I don’t think I can wait much longer! I want to get seeds planted. I’d love to start chitting my potato seeds. I’m even keen to get started making climbing frames for the broad beans but a little voice is telling me to slow down. Be patient. The thing I’m finding most difficult at the moment is not to jump the gun and start too soon. I had planned to start sowing onion seeds this week, but checking the average ‘last frost’ dates for the North East, I’ve decided to wait another week or so. It’s probably going to be the longest 10 days EVER, but once I start sowing, I’ll not be able to stop and before I know it, I’ll be surrounded by yoghurt pots packed full of sprouting seedlings and the ground at the allotment will still be frozen solid. So this week, and probably for a few more weeks to come, I’ll have to just sit on my hands and resist the urge to start sowing. Wish me luck!