About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I have a plan!

After much humming and hahing I finally have a plan for what to plant where in the garden.

First draft of garden plan

I used Suttons online veg garden planner, which has a thirty day free trial. Although there's an option to print the plan, the file can't be downloaded from their server, so I had to cheat to bring you the above plan. I hope you enjoy it!

As you'll see, our garden is not a simple shape and measuring it was quite a fiddle. It's not quite right - the bit round the LPG tank (empty space, top left) is wrong - but I think it'll do.

To start with, I went through my list of seeds and tried to fit them all into the garden. This led to... How much space do cabbages need?!!

At this point I returned to my list and considered how much of each veg I might actually need, rather than trying to grow all the seeds I have. For some - well, for the potatoes - I've only bought as many as I need. For others... hmm, I have 1,750 thyme seeds, I want about ten plants. As for the sunflowers...

The sunflowers are represented by the grey and brown knobbly shapes to the top right of the plan. Being a vegetable garden planner, the software doesn't include sunflowers, so I had to use Jerusalem artichokes as the nearest substitute. Either way, they take up a hell of a lot of space. I will try to put more in other parts of the garden (the plan covers that part that's been cultivated before - I have odd bits of rocky hillside, too).

Working out how many of each plant I'd need wasn't always easy. For some plants, like carrots, one plant = one veg, so it wasn't too difficult. Potatoes I'd grown before enough times to have a rough idea of how much I'd get from each plant. Peas were the most difficult. I usually buy these frozen, so I don't have a very good idea of how many peas per pod, or how many pods per plant, or how many peas per serving, come to that. In the end, I took the advice that you can't have too many peas and planned for 665 plants, which is all the seeds I have. I may come to regret this.

I'm treating this plan as a very rough draft, but it's a useful starting point. It shows me that I can fit all the veg (though not all the sunflowers) I want into the garden, just about. I'm not sure I've left any space to walk between them, but I'll deal with that problem when I get to it.

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