My Year in the Garden by @Chicksandveg

Where has the year gone! It feels like it’s been a while since we were moaning about that long, cold start to spring. Everything has really taken off after some sun and some rain and the garden is jam-packed. Looking back, I can see such a difference in my garden this year so I’ve decided to document some of my learnings!

PXL_20210531_145523449.MP

This year I started some sweetpeas off in the autumn and I’m really seeing the benefits now. Starting these sweet blooms off and looking after them over winter has not only meant healthy, hardier plants but also, it feels like I’ve had more flowers than ever. I’ll definitely be doing that again this autumn with sweetpeas and cornflowers for even more colour in the vegetable patch. Flowers are a big focus for me this year as I’m going to try and grow my wedding flowers. It’s so exciting and a little bit daunting but I can’t wait to see the results over summer!

I feel like I’ve also learnt so much about watering wisely this year, taking account of what needs it when and watering at the right time of day. With such a cold and changeable spring, it was so important to pay attention to what my garden needed. I am always lifting pots and trays of seedlings to see if they really need water before going for it with the hose! In particular, my brassicas have surprised me and I have finally beaten my nemesis! The cauliflower! The only thing I’ve done differently is watering directly to the roots and it clearly worked because I’m overrun with delicious cauliflower!

Speaking of watering, my new setup in the veg patch has been a game-changer this year! I have my Hozelock Micro reel setup with my Ultramax spray gun and it’s been such a pleasure to use. I love watering my veggies and to have a lightweight hose to use which perfectly reaches around my plot has been such a treat. The gun itself has seen me through misting my seedlings to now giving all my veg and blooms a good drink.

The most exciting addition to my plot has to be my irrigation system in my favourite place, my greenhouse. I’ve packed so many tomatoes, cucumbers and of course, Luffa plants into my little greenhouse! All of my large pots are set up on an automatic watering system which not only saves me time but it’s making for much happier plants too. Tomatoes, in particular, can suffer from irregular watering so I am looking forward to bountiful harvests very soon!

I’ve tried making my own plant food for the first time this year. I feed my vegetables every Friday. Particularly the ones in pots because with a set amount of space and nutrients, they really benefit from a bit of a boost! I used the BioMix from Hozelock to make my own nettle feed, full of Nitrogen to give my seedlings and young plants a kick-start. I’d heard so much about the awful smell when making your own plant food so I was really grateful for the BioMix being a fully contained system! I’ve got more to try including comfrey mixes and I’m even going to use it to make a pest deterrent with lavender too – that should smell much nicer!

I’ve got so much more to come from the garden including lots of new veg I’m trying and of course, my wedding flowers! I hope you’re all looking forward to the season ahead and have lots of garden learnings for yourselves. Whatever you’re growing this year, make sure you enjoy it – Happy gardening!

PXL_20210509_105009652.MP
IMG_20210408_105655_216

About the Author

Amy from Instagram’s @Chicksandveg, is one of Hozelock’s brand ambassadors for 2021. Amy started her gardening journey a few years ago having moved to a new home with an overgrown and unloved garden. After the loss of her best friend, she turned to her garden as a way to keep her mind and hands busy. Her love of gardening has become her favourite (and most committed) hobby and she truly believes everyone should experience that feeling of harvesting homegrown veg and picking beautiful blooms.