The most challenging week of the course so far.  Maintenance and planning are crucial to this type of gardening. Miss a sowing period and in some cases you’ve had it for that year. Interesting to find out that most of us start too early, I am guilty of this in my enthusiasm to get going each year. Advice on what to feed and what not to was surprising and will cut down my  feed regime significantly. Charlie’s practical advice for minimising work was invaluable and helps to think of the entire growing in a time economic manner, taking sensible short cuts where possible.

Homework consisted of a maintenance plan for our patch. My list of things to grow for cutting seems to have exploded into a completely unreasonably long palette of gorgeous plants. I cannot possibly grow all these lovelies, hold down a full time job and run a home too boot. Then again I probably will anyway and try not to fret about things not growing perfectly. Abundance appears to be my middle name here.

Listing plants and then identifying the growing process, (sow, plant out, stake, harvest, prune, compost) is nothing short of a chore. BUT it’s vital to not only see where the gaps in flowering are and the overfilling of cold frames or greenhouse staging occurs but to further determine possible successions and gaps in beds that could be filled. Of course another fundamental purpose is to plan the workload and in my case work out when I should be planning a Weedy Weekend event for friends and family. Bribery with free plants, produce and bouquets seems to persuade for the moment!

The My-Garden-School platform is great for chatting to other participants and the tutor. Getting class feedback and comments on ones assignment is encouraged and really helpful, as is being able to check out others work plans. I added at least two more plants to the list having spotted gems on other peoples lists.  The downside of the platform is that it can be a bit clunky when trying to load spreadsheets (this weeks assignment was a spreadsheet format) and PDF’s cannot be uploaded, currently. There is no preview on an assignments and once submitted it cannot be deleted or changed which, when  it goes pear shaped (several classmates had issues) causes frustration all round.

Several participants have gone very quiet which is disappointing, that said the 4  or 5 active folk are well informed and diverse in knowledge, approach and goal which leads to interesting exchanges.

Cutting Garden Maintenance plan

Cutting Garden Maintenance plan



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