No two years are the same
By: Steve Ott
It’s a great time of the year for making plans and for looking ahead to the season to come, but in doing so it’s also a good idea to look back over the past season and to see what lessons can be learned. Several of our contributors are doing just that in this issue, but in the case of gardening there is always one thing that can throw a spanner in the works and spoil the best laid plans of even the greatest gardener – the great British weather.
This season did make me feel as if I was on a roller coaster ride at times – every area is different of course, but where I garden in the East Midlands we had a mild spring, cool and dry summer and late warm spell. If, as gardeners, we felt that we didn’t know where we were at times, how much more confused must our crops have been?
Yet we had a great year for some fruit and veg – apples and pears were good virtually countrywide and for the second year running blight stayed away from our plot and as a result we had bumper crops of tomatoes and potatoes.
Gardeners always moan about the weather but part of the excitement of the new year ahead for me is the challenge of not knowing what nature will throw at me and trying to cater for all eventualities. No two years are the same.
The same goes for Kitchen Garden too. Deputy editor Emma and I have been busy for months now coming up with new features for you for the coming year and some of these will appear in the January issue – just a taster of which can be found on page 71 of this issue. We are very excited to be able to bring them to you and hope that you will enjoy them as much as we believe, as fellow gardeners, you will. Feedback always welcome!
Back to this issue and as usual we have some great practical advice for you. Turn to page 18 for Andrew Tokley’s tips on growing that healthy winter staple, kale, while on page 32 Joyce Russell has plans for a very nifty and easy to build tool rack for your shed or garage.
We have the lowdown on all the latest seeds for 2012 (p66) and on page 72 meet a man with a traditional take on beekeeping, which he claims can help solve many of the problems that beset one of our most valuable pollinators.
Happy Christmas from all the KG team.
PS: With so much more coming up in KG during 2012 and with Christmas just around the corner, why not consider taking out a subscription for your gardening friends or family? Not only will they get the magazine through their letterbox each month, complete with free gifts, they will also receive a FREE KG calendar, packed with month-by-month hints and tips. It’s a gift that will last all year! See page 30 or our website www.kitchengarden.co.uk, for details.
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