|A manageable variety of veg|
A lot will depend on how much space you've got available and whether you want to concentrate on a few favourite vegetables or have a large variety and how many vegetables you typically eat. It takes a bit of planning. Of course, every year is different, with different weather patterns. Some crops will do better one year than the next, but there should always be something tasty to eat! Here's what we sow for two adults, no kids, but with lots of visitors.
First of all, the big crops:
|Drying the big onion harvest|
However, even with this, we haven't quite managed to have an all-year-round supply. Mainly because not all onions store well. If they are thick-necked they will need to be used up quickly. We had a year's supply of onion chutney, but this year there was a fresh onion gap from February to early May when the first spring onions were ready. This gap is gradually being filled with perennial onions (Welsh onions, Egyptian onions and something called the Very Useful Onion), as we build up their numbers.
This year, one variety of the 400 set onions we planted has not come up at all. Luckily, we sowed quite a few shallots, a first-time crop for us, and they are doing well.
|New potatoes: always eagerly awaited|
|Pretty purple-sprouting broccoli|
|Fun little pumpkins|
Chard is a winter staple for us. Actually, it lasts an entire year, from one June until the next. We usually grow two three-metre rows of it in one of our raised beds. Carrots will have at least one raised bed to themselves (two rows over four metres), beetroot half a bed and garlic two thirds (will probably be upped to a full bed in future).
For our legumes (peas, broad beans, French/runner beans), we usually aim for about 20 plants each.
Then a row of kohlrabi, a couple of rows of swedes and parsnips, 20-some Jerusalem artichokes and celeriacs, 16 sweetcorns, 12 peppers and around 100 leeks. And a liberal sowing of radishes and lettuces throughout.
|Stringing up tomatoes|
Similarly, we also have more chilli plants than we really need (12), but if we have a glut we will make our own tabasco sauce and chilli powder. And they don't take up much space in the freezer.