|Nice garden with no weeds - not for long!|
1. Bare soil doesn't stay bare for long - I should have mulched, I should have mulched, I should have mulched! How many times have I thought this since planting my garden here. The weeds love a bit of bare soil. I would have been better off leaving some as grass and mowing it rather than giving the nettles a safe haven to grow in! Now it's a constant battle to try to keep them down
|A weedy corner soon grows!|
3. Just because you have the space to sow successionally doesn't mean you should - All the books tell you to sow every two weeks for certain crops like carrots. If you're anything like me you'll forget! It's better to sow lots in one go than to leave a patch, let the weeds grow and miss your chance for planting and although it's great to eat baby carrots, good sized ones are easier to prepare. Do whats best for you not what a book says.
4. Plant lots and lots of comfrey - Big gardens need big lots of nutrients, if you're growing organically then it can be tricky/labour intensive to find, begging farmers for muck is hardly fun. Planting a few large patches of comfrey means you can make your own liquid feed (along with nettle feed) and also you can mulch plants and fill trenches with it to grow hungry plants like beans. I brought no tomato food at all this year and grew 18 plants using just my home made comfrey and nettle feed with just as many tomatoes (if not more) than if I'd been buying a liquid feed. Keeping costs down when you've upped the scale is key but you still want everything to grow just as well.
6. Pick you're battles - You can't win them all, so concentrate on certain things. This year I've been trying to keep the buttercups at bay, the annual weeds don't seem so bad compared to this hell sent plant. I've also been trying to make sure that no docks go to seed. These little battles should make the next year easier and then I can pick on another plant to pick on and try to hold back!
These are just a few that sprung to mind without much thinking involved. What other tips would you give for when you up the scale of your garden?