The veg patch: Getting started

I admit, we’re a bit late getting started with the veggie patch this year but it’s slowly getting underway. My husband is the gardener in our house (under my supervision, of course). We usually have our seed trays planted and on the windowsill by mid-April and here we are in May already!

The garden was one of the main things that sold our house to us when we bought it three and a half years ago. I’d always wanted a space big enough to grow my own veg so one of the first things we did was dig up a section of broken old paving to make a veggie patch.

It’s not enough to be totally self sufficient but we have a steady stream of bits and bobs through the summer and it’s important to me that the children know the effort that goes into their food, in addition to the actual cooking bit. They get quite excited seeing the plants grow and there’s a lot of anticipation in waiting for the edible bits to ripen. And they were still fascinated the year a gazillion caterpillars ate our cabbages!

Two years ago, my dad and husband built an amazing patio area under the shade of the magnolia tree, using bricks and materials left behind by the old owners. It’s a really beautiful space and I often have a “pinch me” me moment when we’re out there coz I still can’t quite believe it’s ours.

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I hope this doesn’t come across as Smuggy McSmug from Smuggerton. I know how lucky we are to have such a great space and we put a lot of work into keeping it that way. But even if you only have room for a few pots on a windowsill, grow something. Nurture it and be proud of it.

Anyway, yesterday was glorious sunshine so while I tended to the barbecue, The Husband dug over and raked the veggie patch. My parents gave us eight broad bean plants which he planted out with canes. Along the back wall are two blackcurrant plants my mum gave us as tiny cuttings. And at the front is a terracotta strawberry planter that miraculously sprung back to life after a long winter in the shed! We already have lots of seed packets so he also planted purple carrots, pumpkins and onions in rows.

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That only fills half the space. We’ll also start off some tomatoes and sunflowers in trays. I’d like some peas too coz last year the kids enjoyed eating them raw straight out of the pods. And we usually grow potatoes in a big tub.

My sister bought the girls their own little growing kits for Easter so I left them to do that by themselves.

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Big sister supervised and they did a good job!

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Then there’s my herb garden. A little raised bed built by my dad. It’s right outside the kitchen door so I can pop out and grab what I need while I cook.

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I have sorrel, rosemary, mint, parsley, thyme, basil and sage. You can also see here our tiny fig tree. Another cutting from my mum that just last year was nothing but a stick in a pot but is already looking really promising.

Right down at the very bottom of the garden is a small apple tree that I bought for the husband’s first Father’s Day in our own home. It was in full blossom a few weeks ago and by the autumn it usually gives us a few apples, which I rarely get to eat coz the rest of them get there first!

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So there isn’t a lot to see yet. Just a lot of green leaves and empty space. But provided the slugs don’t eat the lot, I’ll keep you updated over the next few months and hopefully I’ll have some actual food to show at the end of it!

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15 thoughts on “The veg patch: Getting started

  1. Mahala May 9, 2014 at 09:31 Reply

    we’re working away getting things planted on our allotment at the moment. It seems never ending!
    Is your apple tree a dwarf variety? I love the way it’s flat against the fence and I’d really like to try and find space for one or two on the allotment

    • The Pie Patch May 9, 2014 at 09:40 Reply

      It’s a James Grieve variety. I think it’d grow bigger if we let but we keep it small coz we planted it too close to the fence!

      • Mahala May 9, 2014 at 09:43

        thanks!

  2. Tamz May 9, 2014 at 10:20 Reply

    I’m so envious of your garden 🙂

    • The Pie Patch May 9, 2014 at 10:33 Reply

      I knew straight away it was the house for us. It still needs a lot of work. Most of the fences are knackered & the flower beds need an overhaul. But I really do love it, especially in the summer. Do you have a space for growing?

      • Tamz May 9, 2014 at 10:51

        Only my teency front garden and my windowsill (Which I use for myherbs and chillies etc) Hoping to move soon, though!

      • The Pie Patch May 9, 2014 at 10:59

        I love a herby windowsill! 🙂 Our old house had a square paved yard. It was tiny but a real sun trap. We used to grew spuds, tomatoes & carrots in pots!

      • Tamz May 9, 2014 at 11:16

        I might try that if we end up with a small garden again!

  3. tiasmum12 May 9, 2014 at 11:45 Reply

    Oh I can’t wait to see, we’ve also just built out own veggie box which I will get around to blogging about soon. I want to teach Tia where her food comes from, makes it more exciting I think. Great photos, the girls lots looked lovely! X

    • The Pie Patch May 9, 2014 at 11:51 Reply

      Tia will love it. Just make sure she doesn’t pull anything up before it’s ready. They’re helpful like that! :-/

      • tiasmum12 May 9, 2014 at 12:01

        Yes we’ve been watching her like a hawk lol! She loves picking us flowers, and we’ve bought her her own sunflower to look after. Just hoping she only waters it and doesn’t pick it 🙂 x

  4. Mandy Wooding May 9, 2014 at 16:07 Reply

    I believe the fig may be a fig from the original at Gma’s?

  5. Karen Johnstone May 14, 2014 at 19:23 Reply

    Our fig tree started like that about 4 years ago. First “crop” was one fig, next year was 3, last year about 12. At the moment we have 50 growing! I love watching things grow and the children’s excitement at picking their own strawberries or eating potatoes that were in the ground an hour ago. Enjoy 🙂

    • The Pie Patch May 14, 2014 at 20:52 Reply

      That’s good to know. My mum’s tree started as a cutting and now produces masses of fruit every year. Exciting seeing ours with leaves!

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