At this stage of your grow your own veggies quest, you should by now have;

  • Found a plot
  • Investigated what other neighbouring plot holders are planting
  • Gained an understanding of how to prepare your plot (clearing/working)
  • Gained an understanding of what/when to grow and how to rotate the crop
  • Knowing what tools to use on the plot
  • A deeper understanding regarding growing vegetables

Growing season starts in March, but you can do a lot of jobs beforehand.

Please see below this growing season guide, which has monthly information regarding daylight hours:

The Growing Season Guide

Month Day Length in Hours Growing Season Season
March 11-12.5 Early Spring
April 13-15 Mid
May 15.5-16.5 Late
June 16.5-17 Early Summer
July 17-16 Mid
August 15.5-14 Late
September 13.5-12 Early Autumn
October 11.5-9.5 Mid
November 9-8 Late
December 7.5-8 Early Winter
January 7.5-8.5 Mid
February 9-10.5 Late

 

An Example of a Plan for the Year

January

  • Propagating seeds e.g. tomatoes (indoors).
  • Check your potato sack for rot and slugs (“One bad apple spoils the barrel”).
  • Make sure your vegetables are stored (in a shed or outbuilding).
  • Start to build a runner bean trench (this works best in sandy soils).
  • Start chitting your potatoes (you don’t have to, but it can speed up the process later).

February

March

  • Weeds are starting to grow, so hoe your plot to kill them.
  • Prepare your asparagus bed. It takes two years to produce asparagus that can be harvested.
  • If cold, install cloches a few days to a week before sowing to warm up the soil.

April

  • Keep horticultural fleece on standby (cold snaps).
  • Keep weeds down by hoeing.
  • If March was not suitable to plant due to weather – time to plant (potatoes /beans/etc..).
  • Maybe think about protecting your crops by using net cloches.

May

June

  • Keep weeds down by hoeing.
  • Check your crops and thin if necessary.
  • If it is a dry month water your crops (How and when to water your crop?).
  • Your netted cloches are in full action to protect against the birds (not for all plants).
  • Keep sowing if you still require it.

July

  • Water as necessary then water some more!
  • Mulching with a layer of organic matter (OM) (slugs love OM so watch out!).
  • Check out seeds that can be planted at this time of year (beetroot, carrots, spring onions).
  • Look out for blight, which might attack your tomatoes and potatoes.
  • Fertilizing now may help boost your crops.

August

  • Watch out for blight on your potatoes.
  • Add green manure to areas that no longer have crops.
  • Keep on top of the pests.
  • Keep watering.
  • Keep weeding.

September

  • You can still sow some hardy vegetables (winter lettuces/spring onions).
  • Watch out for fungal diseases and pests.
  • Fork over the potato area.
  • Keep watering (if needed).
  • Keep weeding (if needed).

October

Preparation for next year’s crop by turning over soil (aeration of soil / double digging)
Add organic matter to soil
Keep weeding (if needed)
Make a leaf bin
Spread and dig in well rotted leaf mould (OM)

November

Consider planting vegetable varieties that require sowing now and will survive winter temperatures e.g. Garlic, broad beans and some onion varieties

Repeat October’s work

December

Order your seeds
Start looking for seed potatoes

The above is only one way of planning your yearly crop. For a more thorough guide, I strongly recommend reading: Vegetable Growing: Month By Month by John Harrison.

< Head back to: Grow your own veggies with John Bogumsky

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