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Planning the Garden PDF Print E-mail

Planning the garden

We have a garden here in Bulgaria of approximately 900 square metres. We emigrated here late in the summer, so when I have a spare five minutes I like to trawl the web for ideas for cultivation next spring.

There exists already a fair bit that I would like to keep in the garden, mostly fruit trees. As an aside, there was apparently a late frost this year which froze off all the buds, so there are very few fruiting trees in the village compared to last year which is a bit of a drag. Here's hoping for a bumper crop next year.

I do want to try to get rid of the acacias (although there are some varieties with edible seeds, I don't think ours are these) and the walnut tree stays as it provides so much food and it's probably over 200 years old! And there is a gorgeous pear tree and a couple of damson trees. There are also several wild apple and peach trees, but I might phase these out or attempt to graft something sweeter and higher yielding onto their rootstock.

At this stage it's more of an overview of my aims. The general idea is to grow as many perennials as possible. For novices, a perennial is a plant that grows from year to year, i.e. it is not necessary to start again from seedling as it is for tomatoes or potatoes. Basically they are the lazy gardener's choice. Some examples include onion and garlic, asparagus, jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb, grapes and fruits of the forest like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and gooseberry etc. etc., as well as fruit and nut trees – elderberry, mulberry, cherry (I haven't seen any cherries locally but I reckon they would grow well). There are plenty of perennial herbs to choose from. There are also many useful perennial plants that are nitrogen fixing, such as comfrey, or that provide an immune barrier if grown around trees and shrubs, such as wild garlic.

There are also a bunch of annuals that I think would be relatively easy to grow. These are:

radishes

peas

beans

tomato

pickling cucumbers (cos I love gherkins)

potatoes

cabbage

squash

aubergine

courgette

maize

sunflowers

All of the existing fruit trees, apart from the apple trees, grow in one half of the garden so I'm going to section this half with some good fencing so that the dogs have somewhere to run around and can't get into the fruit and veg. At some point the dogs' side will be sectioned off again (sorry poochies) to make space for a goat (or a pig?) and chickens.

Another aspect of growing with the aim of storing fruit and vegetables, in addition to low maintenance, is time of harvest. Being the slovenly sort, I kind of want to keep the pickling and preserving labour to a minimum. Some fruit and veg can be harvested all throughout the summer and autumn, so we have a constant supply that we can just dig up from the garden as and when we require them. There are also plenty that we can store over the winter, albeit under different levels of humidity.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 October 2009 22:16