Planning for 2018

So here we are, firmly in 2018. We’ve flushed the last of 2017 festive celebrations away with a brew or two (no fancy biscuits this month, only plains), and now we face the prospect of the late winter and early spring weather, waiting for the (somewhat) settled mid spring so we can get going, sowing and growing. However, not to wish or waste our January away, it’s a good month to plan, and set out what we look to achieve. Some we call resolutions, others goals. I prefer goals, as I tend to put action plans behind them and timelines, so they tend to get done.

So, this post is part one of three. This one will focus on the future of the potager garden. The next post will focus on vegetable and fruit planning and growing, and the final part will be about colour and colour themes for my 2018 garden.

Planning for 2018 is a funny one for me. I’ve been growing and developing the potager garden for five years now, seeing it evolve from an almost blank area of grass into the productive space it is today, through the development of bed and enriching the soil. It’s been a marvellous journey.

However, this is due to end in early 2019.

The potager space does not belong to us, and the owner has been very giving in allowing all the development. It was only ever have meant to have been a five year project, but fortunately there is this year as well. So I’ll be really making the most of it!

This does mean that some of the arches and other planned features I originally intended to include won’t happen, however there are still a couple of features I think are essential.

The first and most important will be the construction of some decent cold frames. Over the five years here I’ve had various forms of cold frames, from cardboard boxes to improvised spaces covered with old shower doors. The plan this year is to construct better versions of these, either using the shower doors as covers or some good quality clear plastic. The materials for them won’t be expensive, however they’ll be effective in keeping young plants and seedlings snug and frost free in spring, which is when they’ll be needed most. These will be build this month, all going well.

Of course I still have my bed frames that were converted to cold frames a few years back, so I’ll recover these and make some decent bases for them to sit on, add a few hinges, etc.

Feature wise, I’ve a lot of wood staining to do too on the small shed and fencing areas. It’s far too early in the year for this, as the wood is often damp, so I imagine this will happen towards the end of February. Once we get into March most of the focus will be turned to sowing and growing, so there’ll be little time to develop any further features until autumn, at which time the planning will become very different as we look to exit the site.

In the meantime, I’ve been scouting around for a 2019 growing site, so we’ll see what that brings. I’m considering using a small plot in a local allotment to plant up my small collection of Hemerocallis and a selection of other perennials I want to retain, so they won’t be a worry when the time comes. However, that’s all in the future and maybe a topic for another blog post.

Meantime, back to planning of the features for this year, I’m looking forward to getting the cold frames sorted and the general area looking nice and spritely again.

What are your feature planning like? Are are you happy with the structure and layout of your space?

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you’ve enjoyed this post, do it the ‘like’ button and leave a comment.

All the best, Hugh

5 thoughts on “Planning for 2018

  1. I liked, as always, your word Potager that I use every day! … (we are not many people to use it on this twitter group! 😁)
    My goal in 2018 will be to grow new varieties that I don’t find in France (some chili seeds, cucamelons but also new tomatoes.)
    If I had wooden pallets like Jonathan (@cavershamjj) I think I would like to build cold frames like you. (It would be helpful to empty my greenhouse of plants and pots mid-season)

    1. Thanks for the message Fred, yes, cold frames are very useful. It’s amazing how the can be improvised. I’ve converted old beds to cold frames – I’ll tweet the link to you. And yes, ‘potager’ is a great term to use for what we grow. Enjoy all the different seeds! When will you sow tomatoes?

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