So, it's not even 2012, but I'm on the case. Tomorrow I go and see a cheap tipper trick which will come in useful for all sorts of reasons, i think. But my main task today was to order a poly tunnel. Which I have done.
So, I have space for a 14ft by something, and I went for 28ft as, although I'll be able to see it from the sitting room window - something I'd hoped to avoid as I like my view of the hedge - I think the proportions sound better and it'll give room. It's quite an expensive investment, and so it'll have to make some contribution to its upkeep, but I'm hoping a crop of chillis or something I can sell by the road will help.
I went for firsttunnels.co.uk in the end, as they seemed to be reputable and I liked the videos. I had considered building one - a wooden frame and a sheet of plastic would do it - but thought for the first time, I'd be better off expending less energy on this, and more on clearing the plot and so forth.
Last night I started making a list of items I want to grow this year. I already have rhubarb, apples and pears, and some cherry trees, although they haven't really given enough fruit, and I think I could be a lot more ornamental about it, but that takes time. My pear crop this year was massive - but they just rotted in storage, so next year I'll know to pickle and bottle and dry and do whatever it takes to make sure they all get used. And, I'd always believed a pear never ripens on the tree, but that can't be true because I had some of the best pears I've ever had fresh picked.
Anyway, for the tunnels I was thinking aubergines, melons, chillis of course, tomato, peppers. Anything else anyone can think of? I was also thinking that winter crops might be pak choi, but I haven't got further than that (I have the Winter Vegetables books, read it in fact, but not made a proper list yet.)
Outside the poly tunnel, I am going to do mixed planting of vegetables and flowers in one part, and raised beds in the other. My septic tank has its overflow pipes spread out in the garden away from the house, and the soil is a bit smelly. I am thinking that this probably isn't that un-healthy but to avoid any problems, raised beds of a foot or so of soil would be the best options. I might line the bottoms too. We'll see. I have a sugar beet factory up the road and they sell the soil wash-off as top soil - the truck will allow me to get plenty. I'll also be reliant, for a while, on bought compost, so I'll have to find a bulk source for that too. And manure.
Any thoughts on sources for north west norfolk would be helpful.