Saturday, 7 June 2014

Creating a micro allotment

I've tried growing tomatoes and beans outside in pots, but the slugs attack or aphids settled them, or they require spraying with chemicals. It was not worth the effort!  Better to let Nature do the gardening and go foraging for blackberries and sweet chestnuts.

Salads and strawberries are costly in summer. The salad mix one buys in cellophane bags in supermarkets is only a few leaves but costs about £1.75. I have read this general advice to amateur gardeners:

Grow what is costly at home and buy the rest of your vegetables in farmers’ markets, to cut airmiles. 

We have a long plastic shelf in our conservatory that I have turned into a micro allotment for the production of ongoing salad, even through the winter.

Using a few trays and compost for vegetables, I planted out last weekend organic salad seed of rocket, spinach and lambs lettuce. I do not intended to use chemicals on them at all. After just 5 days, the rocket is true to its name and already has roots and leaves!

                                                                 Rocket after 5 days

Strawberries are pest resistant on the whole but need to be off the ground. Normally this is achieved by growing the fruit on straw, which is messy. Strawberries cope well with being outdoors and overwinter but the best approach is to grow them upside down hanging outside. The variety counts for taste and sweetness.

For more about growing hanging strawberries see here

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. We grew salad for most of the winter in our small greenhouse. Nothing beats rocket.
    Perhaps the slugs were hiding underneath your pots and coming out at night to snack! I regularly have to check things like this. That's why allotmenteering is usually so time-consuming. Do what you can manage well.