Ok that’s not strictly true, as we’re more than half way through the year – I’m writing this on July the 31st and we’re about to step into August! However, I intended to write this post back in June, so I’m sticking by my original idea!

It’s now (more than) 6 months since we started creating our new vegetable plot in the orchard area of our garden in Devon, and I think it’s important to do posts like this every so often to reflect on the work we’ve done and how the garden develops throughout the seasons.

We’re no strangers to garden renovation, having created our previous vegetable garden from scratch whilst being filmed for Big Dreams, Small Spaces, but this year we decided to create an allotment style vegetable patch WITH THE HELP OF TWO SMALL BOYS… and trust me when I say, that’s no mean feat!

The Site

We started out with this patch of wasteland, which was apparently once occupied by a greenhouse (we can confirm this by the amount of glass we dug up!)

On the far side of the patch we hit upon a few small pits in the ground (rabbit holes, we assumed) so we extended the area of the allotment to get rid of these. Turns out, they weren’t rabbit holes at all, but a sunken area of land which used to house a drain! The holes are just above where Henry’s standing in the picture below!

Once we’d dug over the area, Richard managed to gather up enough stones that we’d unearthed during the digging to edge the entire patch!

Planting

Then the fun could really begin – planting time! (That’s not strictly true, as we sowed a row of carrots before we even finished digging over the top part of the bed!)

We quickly sowed rows of kohlrabi, little gem lettuce, peas, and a wigwam of runner beans. Every year I declare I’m never growing runner beans again, because we just can’t eat the amount we produce, but Rich always wins me over because he quite rightly says the flowers add colour and interest to a very green space!

Henry liked to wave goodbye to each pea seed as he planted it with his Grandad, and it worked a treat as we had a bumper crop!

As spring has turned into summer it has been a pleasure to watch the boys’ delight every time they run into the orchard to see what has grown!

Harvesting

Then it was time to harvest our first crops, lettuce and carrots!

Then came the peas… and the pods kept coming, and coming, and coming – much to Seb’s delight!

Once the peas had finally finished cropping, we removed the plants and have now replaced them with a few rows of brassicas; cauliflower, red cabbage, spring cabbage and brussels sprouts.

As well as the allotment space, we’ve also planted courgettes and pumpkins in old tractor tyres around the orchard (we dropped a grow bag into each tyre so that the soil isn’t touching the grubby old rubber) potatoes in tubs, and kale and herbs have been interplanted in the front garden borders. Oh wait, we’ve also got several bush tomato plants positioned along the garden walls!

We’re getting courgettes every week, the carrots are nearly done now but we’re hoping a second row will grow sufficiently to keep us going, and we’ve got the kohlrabi, brassicas, runner beans, tomatoes and of course pumpkins yet to come!

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