Evaluating 2013 in the Telford garden

Our house in Telford went up for sale in the late spring of 2013.  As yet it has not sold but the year began with the clear possibility in mind that we may not see the growing season out in the garden, so I decided to move as many perennial vegetables as possible from there to the Borderland garden.

As a result most of my time and effort were concentrated on developing the new garden and the Telford garden pretty much had to fend for itself.  The time spent in the garden decreased accordingly – from 76.75 hours in 2012 to 17 hours in 2013.

Time Spent in Telford Garden 2013 (hours)
Activity Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
Sowing seed / taking cuttings 1.25 6.5 0 0.25 8 48
Planting out 0 0 0 0 0 0
Management / maintenance 0.5 2.25 0 3.25 6 36
Preparation of new areas 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other tasks 0 2.75 0 0 2.75 16
Totals 1.75 11.5 0 4 17 100
Total time spent 2012 76.75  

I continued to sow seeds for new plants and to take cuttings – some, or possibly most of which were then planted in the other garden.  I did a certain amount of maintenance at the end of spring / early summer and in the autumn, mainly to tidy up and that was about it.

Produce from Telford Garden 2013 (g) 
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
Onions 16 55 0 87 158 1
Cooking greens 277 628 0 116 1021 8
Salad leaves 172 131 10 89 402 3
Roots 0 0 0 1368 1368 10
Beans / peas 0 0 320 0 320 2
Fruit 0 0 6638 3777 10415 76
Totals 465 814 6968 5437 13,684 100

For comparison total produce in 2012 was 40,390 g / 40.39 kg, and in 2011 it was 24,900 g / 24.9 kg.

  • Produce from the garden was clearly much reduced – approximately one third of the 2012 total – and consisted in the main of fruit.
  • Early in the year there were harvests of cooking greens and salad leaves.
  • I did replant some Jerusalem artichokes, oca and mashua but most of the roots and tubers were re-planted in the other garden.  I left the harvesting of most of these roots until after the New Year so the yields do not appear in the 2013 figures.
  • I experimented with a new variety of runner bean but they did not do well unfortunately.
  • I removed many of the perennial onion varieties to the other garden and therefore had quite small harvests from them.

Even though I had less time to spend in the garden and correspondingly lower harvests the output in terms of kg produced for hours of work increased from 0.526 kg per hour’s work in 2012 to 0.804 kg per hour’s work!  That is very reassuring to me given my objective of obtaining as much yield as I can for as little input of time.

Of course one of the most important things about a garden is what it looks like.  Even though that is not one of my main aims, I do want it to be aesthetically appealing and it does seem that leaving having a hands off approach and letting nature largely get on with it works for this as well.

DSCN5174 flowery edge July 2013


DSCN5175 more flowers july 2013


DSCN5183 back garden july 2013

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
This entry was posted in Forest Gardening, Fruit, perennial greens, Perennial Vegetables, Permaculture, Polycultures, roots and tubers, Telford Garden and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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