2023 Gardening Decisions

At this time of year when everything in the garden is quiet, thoughts turn to deciding what to grow next year.

I’ve increased the space in the tunnel dedicated to strawberries which means there won’t be as much space for beans but it will be easier to separate them. There will still be space for climbing French beans behind the strawberries and I’ll use the whole of the other side for French beans. This means I won’t be growing any courgettes in the tunnel.

2022 saw me growing one of the raised beds entirely with carrots which seems to have resulted in more carrots than we need. However, I sowed them all a bit close together so they’re smaller than I would like. In 2023, I’ll again use the whole bed but sow them a bit more thinly (and thin them out better) so that we’ll get fewer, larger carrots.

Now we come to the biggy, Tomatoes. 2022 saw us only grow tomatoes in one greenhouse and outdoors. The outdoor tomatoes were just determinate (bush) and all red, cherry, standard and beefsteak. They all did well so I’ll do about the same again. In the greenhouse I chose a mixture with the aim of a mix of colours and sizes. Everything did reasonably well but I ended up with fewer black/brown that I would normally like and (probably) more cherry tomatoes than would normally be the case. The discussion I have with myself (as ever) is whether I try some different cultivars or whether I just use the ones I have. Growing (yet more) cultivars is “fun” if you can find ones that look interesting, but in reality I think I’ve now got to the point where the choice within what I’ve grown before is sufficient so my plan in 2023 will be to grow cultivars I’ve grown before, picking out a mix of sizes and colours to give me flavour and size and rely on the outdoor tomatoes to give bulk.

Hopefully I will grow enough to keep us in tomatoes without overloading the freezer. So the aim is slightly fewer than 2022 (47kg) but of a greater choice of colours and sizes. This will possibly mean growing more than one plant of some of the cultivars that produce fewer fruit.