The vegetable garden 2023

Hi there, as an enthusiastic vegetable gardener I though it might be nice to share the ups and downs of the gardening year with you others who also have the joy of home grown produce, and which I invite you to share your stories here as the year progresses.

For myself, apart from preparing the raised beds with some compost and general slow release fertiliser I have done nothing yet but get my seeds and sets. I am eager to get started but the forecasters keep promising hard frosts and snow in March so I’m really torn as to whether to start or not, but I guess this coming week optimism will get the better of me and I will have to set some seeds off just in case they are wrong, but then again aren’t they ever… :laughing:


How much can you grow in that Barry?

I recently bought the complete guide to self sufficiency as it widely regarded as the bible for small-holders (I can see why, it’s very detailed and covers pretty much everything) - they recommend 5 acres for a family of 4 for complete self-sufficiency with enough excess to sell (you can buy 100 acre farms in Ireland for £300k!) but I am interested in how much you can grow in your plot as I have some land at the end of my garden that used to be a vegetable patch.

It varies season to season of course and is very much weather dependent, but I grow mainly for the pleasure and not necessarily to be self sufficient or to save money.

I enjoy picking and eating vegetables when they are at their best, so rather than preserve a glut of vegetables when one arises it gives me more pleasure to give it away to neighbours and family… well apart from my fruit surplus that is, and that I selfishly freeze to see us through the winter…:slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks Barry. I will blog my progress here too.

I have today bought a mini greenhouse from Wilko, to put outside my back door, to start some seeds off. Have a box of them ready, with trays and compost. Because I am still waiting for decent weather to get my allotment plot rotavated (planned for next Thursday), I can’t get my larger greenhouse up yet.


I already have some tomatoes and cucumbers in pots in the spare room. Only a few pots but they are all sprouting.


My old man had a big garden most of which was given over to things I hated like brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage but he also had a council allotment. I don’t know how big the allotment was but he never finished cultivating all of it in all the years he “owned” it.

Growing things like potatoes for a year take up a surprising amount of space.

My abiding memory of him is gardening in his demob suit which he was still wearig in the garden when i left home to go to Australia at 19.

My own gardening consists entirely of occasionally planting Hot Chilli plants and nastursions and picking the fruit off my lemon tree


Barry what a fabulous vegetable plot.
Will there be further updates and photos throughout 2023 .
Keeping my fingers crossed

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To each his own @Bruce ,but as for all the greens that you mentioned, I love 'em all… :wink:

Yes @Ripple ,that’s my hope. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Wow, you’ve got a great veg plot there

When I retire I’m going to do a raised plot but it will only be a small one

At the moment I do potatoes in a plastic bin, tomatoes growing along a sunny wall and runner beans, but I’m hoping to branch out so I’ll join in

One thing I grew a few years ago which was a huge success was sweetcorn. You don’t realise how tender and lovely it is when it’s fresh off the plant compared to shop bought

I’ve bought this little book which seems to have some good ideas for a small plot

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Good to have you on board @Maree , it doesn’t matter how or where you grow veg I believe it is always so rewarding. Look forward to seeing your pots and planters as the year progresses.:slightly_smiling_face:

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I sometimes ate a corn straight from the cob, whilst still over the allotment. Yum.


I’m eager to get my veg plot going after a right off year in 2022. So my peas are already planted. I’m waiting for this week of hard frosts to be behind me and I’ll plant butternut squash seeds in pots and get them under cover. The more mature they are by planting out in May the better they do.
Potatoes might go in this week, or I’ll most likely let this cold spell pass first. Tomatoes need to wait - and I need to work out where they’ll go as they were in the same spot for two years running so that ground will need a rest. I’m hoping I can get back to a decent beetroot crop and last couple of years have been disappointing. Looks like digging in muck is going to be necessary.

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Hi Alan, yes I had a poor year too last year, what with the late frosts and then a blistering summer drought, I do doubt though anyone managed a classic! Anyway, being the eternal optomist like I suspect most gardeners are, this coming season will be much better I know it… :crossed_fingers:

So, onwards and upwards… Just washed all of my pots and seed trays today ready for a start this week and tomorrow I will debug and sanitise the greenhouse, then we are all set… :slightly_smiling_face:

We had all that (late frost, drought) but I bashed myself up in a fall, which included a detached retina, in June. So I stuck indoors for weeks and the veg plot went to ruin.

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So what sort of greenhouse are you getting for the allotment @Jazzi , is there already a base there or will you need to start from scratch?

Sounds nasty @strathmore , I can’t blame you for putting the garden on the back burner after that, health must always come first!

@Barry it is a medium walk in one from Wilko.

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I have selected an area for it, but am waiting for the guy with the rotavator to do my plot. Expecting him on Thursday. Once he’s done that (and he did say he would take a rake to level), I have the phone number of another plot holder who will help me put it together.

I also need to work out how to make it wind and storm proof. Tying the frame down, or putting weights on it.

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Good to hear that you’ve got some help and yes it will take some holding down, that will really be the priority I reckon. :thinking: