his year we went to visit the Potager Garden at Miromesnil. It has a a classic structure – 4 squares of vegetables surrounded by borders of mixed flowers. It was started in 1948 by the Comtesse de Vogue. Her son added fruit trees to the garden and decided to cut the grass on the south side of the park in a chequered design similar to that used in the 18th century.
If you are under glass or have a polytunnel you still have time to plant things up to overwinter. You will get a catch crop by the beginning of November that you can continue harvesting through out the winter. As long as they have some green left they will regenerate when the light turns in the middle of February and will keep you in fresh greens through the hungry gap into May when the new seasons plantings start to work.
Plants4Presents sell plants online as gifts and deliver all over the UK. Our aim is always to sell interesting plants that we would like to receive ourselves. Over time our range of citrus trees, flowering plants, climbers and chilli plants has slowly expanded to include lots of other edible plants including kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, curry leaf trees and turmeric.
An account of the growing process behind our Grow Your Own Curry stand at the forthcoming Hampton Court Show.
Sheet Mulching is a technique useful in converting grass or flower beds into productive ground. We are using it as a technique for building our forest garden by using it as part of the sequence towards perennial planting. Basically you cover the ground with something organic and rottable that the weeds can’t get through. Old Carpets and rugs made from natural fibres like cotton and wool are good as is cardboard.
The best time to do this is when the Rhubarb is dormant – in December to the end of February. We’ve left it a bit late this year because we’re in the process of developing the woodland garden here at the Glasshouses and in the pressure of work to get the ground cleared, hedge defined, potato plot organised etc, the Rhubarb got left until last weekend. However Finger’s crossed.
LInk to growing guide for first time users
Part of the trick with growing things commercially is that you always need to have something to sell. So for us we expect to have a good crop of peppers and aubergines and squash over the next couple of months with about half a dozen beds of sweet potatoes coming through.
However our main focus is on providing a succession of chard and spinach that will take us through to Christmas.
So here’s a selection of 5 vegetables you might have a crack at. Perpetual Spinach, radish, rocket, mixed salad and the carrots. Plants are very susceptible to daylength rather than temperature but we have about 8 weeks before they slow to a crawl. Under protected cropping they really only stop between mid december and when the light turns in mid february but still – if you’re feeling bold this selection should give you the best shot.