As a family who eats a predominately plant based diet, it made complete sense to put that pretty useless front lawn to good use by creating another veggie patch. Two in fact.
After juggling the aesthetics, longevity and expense of garden beds, I framed up my first patch. I covered the lawn in newspaper, tossed together some well rotted compost and old sheep manure, covered it in pea straw and watered it in. I then let it sit for the next month or so.
As Autumn rolled around, I planted broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kale. Rogue pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes and warrigals quickly sprung up on their own accord. Disappointingly, only the warrigals flourished, the former two never fruiting, the potatoes dug out, due to space constraints.
- I quite enjoyed growing broccoli- admittedly I didn’t succeed at growing any large heads, they bolted early on, but nonetheless I did get a fair amount of broccolini.
- The cabbages never formed heads either, but as we have been eating the leaves since July and are still going strong, I’d consider them successful.
- I am yet to eat a brussel sprout. Just the one plant has formed any sprouts bigger than a thumbnail, and it’s only now that the others are beginning to do anything. The leaves are loose and they really are quite small. I really don’t know when I should harvest.
- The kale took the longest to establish, but for the last month or so, it has been doing quite well. The plants are of humble size, nothing like the ones we spotted at Diggers, but the leaves are definitely edible and they continue to grow. Although I do have to be careful not to let them bolt, with the temperature heating up.
I will admit my watering was inconsistent throughout the season which I believe would account for the bolting and loose leaved heads. I also had a lot of issues with aphids, but again as I was not relentless with my pest patrol, it was only natural that this was the case.
Between this bed and the two originals out the back, I held off on the second patch, which is now ready for Spring planting, but I shall save that for another post.