Frugal gardening

Just a little background to myself. Last year, me and my partner, Cressida moved to her late father’s house which has a beautiful garden– he was a very dedicated gardener and we really wanted to continue his legacy. Part of the garden has eight raised beds dedicated to vegetable growing. When he was still alive, I used to give him things to experiment with, a challenge he really relished. So the vegetable beds would include a mixture of traditional fare such as potatoes, cabbage and peas, but would also have a scattering of more unusual vegetables including oca, yacon, chickpeas, field beans and mouse melons. So that’s how we intend to continue: things that are expensive in the shops such as leafy veg and beans with a few things that are impossible to find thrown in. In essence, we will continue his rotation, drawn out in a notebook, with just a few modifications. Having two stubborn horticulturalists in the house isn’t always easy. Deciding on something as simple as a rotation, seems to result in hours of discussion, and still a decision isn’t made!

At the moment, the veg beds are just approaching that unappetising time of year. The chard is hanging on in there, but the kale is starting to flower profusely, and winter salads are now bolting and covered in aphids. We made a seed order just as the lockdown was kicking in, and it took a while to arrive, so in the mean time we were looking for things to sow and ways of producing fresh produce from anything quickly.

So, some of the tips I will be showing you over the next few weeks include: making use of old seed, how to grow food in a few days, growing stuff from your kitchen cupboard, making homemade plant feeds, and producing exotic houseplants for less than a quid. We are a pair of wombles that always hang on to stuff just in case it comes in useful, so now is the time to put it to good use!

More about Anton...
Anton is a Knowledge Officer at Garden Organic, where he has worked for 16 years. He is looking forward to writing a series of blogs on how to garden using little resources.

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