Four simple questions


With so much to choose from it seemed almost impossible to narrow down the options of what vegetables to grow. After a little careful thought I soon realised that my first task was easily identified though – just go through a few reliable gardening books and note down which plants were labelled as “easy to grow” or “good for beginners”.

Predictably there were too many  final choices and they were most of the usual suspects that many gardeners tackle when starting out. However that list was easily  cut down to size  by the simple guiding principle that says “don’t bother growing something you won’t eat”.

As we only have 3 small-ish veg plots, the final list ended up as Potatoes, Leeks (from seed) and Onions (from sets).


This is easily solved because I am only working with 3 fairly small veg beds this year – not much I know but that is 2 more than I’ve ever had before so I’m happy! Two of these beds are wooden sided raised beds from a kit which have been set up on top an unwanted section at the bottom of the garden. These have been carefully prepared over the last few months, filled with nice new compost and left to settle although I did pop in some cabbages last autumn (don’t ask, they’re not doing much) and I also had a failed attempt with spinach when all I got was some more greener for the compost heap.


I suspect that this might be the tricky part because we live on the north east coast of England which is not known for the tropical climate. The growing season is noticeably shorter up here and plants are definitely slower to get going. My main concern will be fighting off the impatience so I don’t start sowing or planting out too soon.


Arguably the hardest of the 4 questions… I’ve grown some veg in the past but never more than one crop per year and certainly not every year so why is this year different? Can it all be down to a mid-life crisis? Have I really not got anything better to do with my time? The most likely explanation is that it seemed like a good idea at the time and now I’ve set myself the challenge I don’t want to admit defeat without giving it a go!

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