So Many Vegetable Seeds and Only a Small Space

Roughly every 6 weeks we get a visit at work from The Book People. I love books, especially if they are bargains, which these books always are, and I invariably end up buying one, if not two books. Just before Christmas I was tempted (and bought) The Readers Digest Food from Your Garden and Allotment. A £19.99 book for £4.99, well you can’t ignore that can you?

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It is full of comprehensive information from growing to cooking, with some wonderful illustrations. Starting with a basic guide to the kitchen garden and a chapter on re-planning your garden, it includes a growing calendar, growing and cooking and home preserving. The fruit and vegetables it covers a range from the unusual such as Salsify to the common potato and it is full of inspiration.

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The replanning your garden section is one that I am going to read in-depth and make notes on. 2013 is going to the year that I take a good look at the shape and design of the garden, so watch this space. I need to take a look to find a way of incorporating more space to grow vegetables.

Imagine my delight with one of the most exciting Christmas presents I received. My eldest daughter gave me an annual subscription to Allotinabox. This consisted of two seasonal Grow Your Own boxes and with another two to follow as the year progresses.

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Each box consists of five packets of seeds, labels, twine, and a useful growing wheel. So I now have a number of herb seeds, aubergine, spring onions, carrots and leeks. My only concern was that there is nothing on the packets to say what variety they are. However, the Allotinabox website is comprehensive and it gives the variety on their seed help page. I now know that the carrots are Early Nantes and the leeks are Musselburgh. It would have been useful if this information was written on the packets, especially if you didn’t have access to a computer.

I am now in the position with a lot of seeds and a small space to grow them. All the more reason now to find extra space in the garden to grow my Allotinabox seeds. For the newbie vegetable gardener, the Allotinabox website has a number of well informed sheets to print out, including one called Pot Help. Starting off in pots is a great idea; a few years ago I started my vegetable growing in pots until I put in a raised bed. An allotment might be the best idea but I don’t have the time and my own garden would probably suffer, so I may well combine pots and perhaps one more raised bed this year.

My job this afternoon is to get outside and start to give the larger of the terracotta pots a good clean, so that I can start off the herbs when the time is right. I will also be looking at how to incorporate a second raised bed, or if that is practical.

So armed with my lovely book and my seed packets, with a bit of luck I will be eating more home-grown vegetables this year, and giving them away. That is, of course, if I can find space to grow everything, maybe I’ll develop an old-fashioned Elizabethan country garden and grow vegetables in amongst the flowers. It’ll certainly give me plenty to write about, and photograph.


  1. Hi, it’s Lea again here.
    There is a website called gardeners dot com. Type cucumber trellis in their Search this Website. You will see a photo of the trellis I am talking about.


  2. I’m sorry i can’t remember where I saw this idea. The person made a square trellis for vegetables that grow on a vine (like cucumbers), and leaned it over – slanted at about a 60 to 75 degree angle – over a bed of short vegetables (lettuce, I think). You would need to consider the direction and intensity of sunlight needed for each plant, but a person would have two things growing in the same space. It was an intriguing idea to me, but I don’t know if I’ll try it or not.
    Happy gardening!
    Lea’s Menagerie


  3. Looks like a busy gardening year ahead for you. I did what Margaret said in the first comment. Before we started travelling I grew herbs and vegs in polystyrene boxes. I grew them during our winter then only kept herbs growing through the year. But now we travel I only have shrubs etc in the garden. Home grown veg tastes so much better than the supermarket produce


  4. I wish you good growing fortune. I grow vegetable in amongst the perennials for years now. It is really space saving and they look prettier with the flowers around them. Give that a try. You just have to be careful they get enough light.


  5. Sounds like you’ve got a busy and exciting growing year ahead! This year I grew loads of fruit and veg in pots and was delighted with the results. Successful crops included tumbling Terenzo tomatoes in window boxes, raspberries in old wine boxes, and ‘Rainbow Mix’ carrots in a (largish) bucket. My harvests weren’t huge, but growing the veg was fun (and tasty). Good luck with finding enough room. p.s. Mark from Verical Veg has lots of great ideas for growing in tight spaces.


    • Space and sun are my concerns too. But I’m, like you, determined to get as much out of the garden as possible. Vertical spaces intrigue me, and I may use the south side of the house for some large window box type planters. I can hardly wait!


  6. Good luck with the veg growing Roni. You can grow veg in all sorts of containers and you can buy special vegetable growing containers for small spaces. These can then be placed in different areas around the garden wherever you can find the space. Have fun!


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