Planning a continuous veggie supply

7 Jul

My veggie patch is boom or bust.

There was the great turnip glut of June 2011, the era of broccoli that I’m currently experiencing, and I once had an entire forest of celery. These gluts are always accompanied by shortages of many other things.

Maybe that’s why it’s called a veggie patch – the produce is patchy at best.

I know there must be a solution to this dilemma, but I suspect it involves planning ahead.

Planning. Ahead.

I’ve had in mind for a while the broad outline of a planting plan or timeline. A plan to help me work out when to sow my seeds, and how many to sow at any particular time. I imagined it would look something like 1 lettuce seed per week rather than 10 lettuces in February. The thought of compiling this plan however seemed really daunting.

That is, until I discovered this amazing site called Under the Choko Tree. This site is run by Nev and Linda from Western Sydney. Nev commented on one of my posts, and I went to check out what he had to say.

They have written many many articles packed with great information on living sustainably, and I’ll enjoy perusing them over the coming weeks. What really got my attention though is their Veggie Plan. This is the plan Nev and Linda have devised over many years on their suburban block, which outlines exactly what they plant every fortnight. I imagine that this will take a lot of adapting for our particular land size, microclimate and family preferences, but it has given me a brilliant start.

So after this eye opening discovery, J and I set to work sowing seeds for the 1st week of July. The most interesting thing is that Nev seems to start some spring veggies off in early July, ready to plant when the frost is finished. That’s exciting stuff – planting tomatoes and zucchini in July.

Seed potatoes and their new bed

We also took things one step further in the spirit of breaking all the rules. We planted our seed potatoes. I’m devoting the Northern quarter of Bed F to potatoes this season, and we planted it with Dutch Cream, Kipfler and Royal Blue. This bed is still covered in shade cloth which will protect from frost, then I plan to rip the shade cloth down in spring to let in the light, which will be higher in the sky by that time.

J really loved planting potatoes. After so long planting tiny seeds that grow into something entirely different, it must have seemed like I was suggesting we plant a lego brick to grow a lego tree.

We sprinkled the bed with blood and bone, then watered it in lightly. I don’t think I’ll need to water again until the weather warms.

This really opens up a whole new world of opportunities to me, and should keep my family well fed (with variety) right through spring and summer.

Thanks Nev and Linda!

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One Response to “Planning a continuous veggie supply”

  1. Liz August 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I do like Nev and Linda’s veggie plan. I suspect though the slight ridicule in my partners voice when he refers to me as a “keen gardner” will go up a notch if I use a spreadsheet….but I like spreadsheets so perhaps I should just give in to my inner gardening nerd…..

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