Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.


Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

The potager is shouting for attention.

It’s time to temporarily put down the seed packets and plan the new season. Here at Darsham we have 36 raised beds. The lessons learned in 2015 need to be put into place. We grew too much salad, but not enough kale, broad beans, radishes or spring onions. This year we want a pea crop, some early radicchios and ideally would love a bed of agretti. The mint bed wasn’t successful despite the semi shaded position so it needs to be relocated, and replaced with a parsley bed. The new plan includes a walkway of arches with climbing beans and courgettes, along the perimeter which if successful should give 40 metres of vertical planting.

Chard beds need to be included along with kohl rabi, cauliflowers, celery, leeks and turnips. We also want to trial separate beds of edible flowers and herbs so the kitchen can access these easily.

It’s quite a daunting task, but crucial. Additionally crop rotation needs to be taken into consideration. Our soil levels drop considerably with the sheer volume of harvesting, so large amounts of compost need to be added to each bed at the start of each season.

The new allotment area is already planted with spring onions, garlic, shallots, carrots and radishes. Once the spring onions have been harvested, beetroot can then be planted.

Luckily we have laminated plans to work with. They cost about £10 each from a printing company and are invaluable. They make the whole process much easier, as they can be cleaned instantly with nail polish remover and amended or reused.

It’s so easy to forget how it all looked in the summer, here’s a reminder.

The helpful blank plan of the potager:

The rows are simply called A,B,C, and D. The individual raised beds are numbered within each row. This shows the detailed breakdown of our planned crops:




Now the hard work of clearing, weeding and soil amendment can begin.

Initially overwhelming, now that it’s planned out it feels achievable and exciting.

limegarden@sky.com • 23rd March 2016

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1 Comment on Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Ann @Ann Edwards Photography said : Guest Report one year ago

often things seem more achievable once written down. The new vertical planting avenue sounds exciting!

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