Memories of 2023, indeed any year just gone, are delightfully or painfully present. Enough to influence garden decisions for the coming year.
Some of my learnings are that I could chop the wood for composting more, avoid snails and Allium leaf miner somehow, harvest fruits sooner before overripe, sow peas earlier and carrots later.
However, beware over-reacting to the peculiarities of the year most fresh in memory. Its weather above all, because there is one thing for sure, the weather will be different in every season. Most things stay the same - for example see my solstice tour on YouTube, showing the quick bed prep with no dig. That is constant every year, except for variations in the compost, see below.
The main image is Castelfranco chicory in the small garden here. Sown early July, planted after cucumbers.
Winter composting and mulching
There are so many ways to make great compost, and it's certain that you do not have to get the heap hot for it to succeed. The process just takes longer when it's cooler. And it's less bacterial, more fungal ,often resulting in higher quality compost.
We just made a video about composting options through all seasons, while concentrating on winter.
A less common compost
Just the colour is so different, from the compost toilet. This year it grew amazing squash with just 8 shovelfuls per the bed you see in the photo below, 2 x 1.2m or 6.5 x 4ft..
Clearly this compost enlivens the soil a lot!
Allium leaf miner
Phytomyza gymnostoma This horrible pest is new here, in such quantity. We saw a few last year, but this year about half of my leeks are now on the compost heap!
I share more information in this short video. I know that many of you are suffering it and have tried many protective measures, there are options for sure, just not easy.
Trials results 2023, just in
See the two pages with new graphs, for harvest comparisons this year. Always new learning and surprises, like a big drop in output from the strip with forked soil.
In the dig / no dig two bed comparison, once again we gathered more food for less work, from no dig. With the same amount of compost on each bed.
Notice how much food is coming from one bed of 7.5 m² . Over 100kg / 220lb every year.