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Falling short – empty spaces in the garden, boo

Posted by on Friday 1 July 2011 in growing | 9 comments

I’ve spent most of this afternoon pottering in the garden and as time went on, I had a strange realisation: I’ve actually fallen short in what I’ve sown this year.

I have everything planted in final positions now and I’ve still got a bed, two wooden troughs and some containers empty. Well, the bed’s not empty, it’s full of self-seeded borage (pictured above – which I was happy to let grow until I needed the space for something else) but the wooden troughs are empty-empty — and annoyingly, it’s the nice ones I made at the start of the year. I’ve been using them as extra temporary staging in the greenhouse so all the others were filled up first, and here I am now with nothing to put in them. Boo.

I had problems with damping off at the start of the year and some stuff went to seed because I didn’t pot it on soon enough during the warm (and chaotic here) spring – if those problems hadn’t happened, I’d probably have actually sown about the right amount of stuff this year (amazingly!) but since they did, I’m left with some empty spots. Shockingly bad behaviour, isn’t it?

So now I’m wondering what, if anything, I could put in them. Any suggestions?

I’m going to see my mum & dad tomorrow* so my dad might have some spare things he could give me in exchange for the eggs and courgettes I’ll be taking. (*Mum, if I haven’t called you by the time you’re reading this, we’re coming tomorrow. Hope you’re not working all day or out. Also if you’ve been shopping today, I hope you didn’t buy lots of eggs and courgettes. ;) )

My beloved Hessayon book tells me I could plant some late peas for autumn sowing — and actually I’ve already got some seedlings that we were going to eat as pea shoots. I do though have issues with growing peas so maybe we should just eat them in their childhood form as planned.

I think we’ve got just about enough salad leaves in containers dotted around the place – although if I can’t think about anything else, I’ll grow some more lettuce.

I *could* just leave them empty, but where would the fun be in that? ;)

Have you got any empty spots this year or are you filled to the proverbial rafters? What would you plant if you had an empty bed/some empty containers at this time of year?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. 5olly

    there’s tons of stuff you can still so directly into the soil!
    they might not be your hardcore veg, but you can still be eating them through the winter!

    there’s winter spring onion, cavolo nero, spinach, beans pak choi, lettuce even gherkins! there’s loads more to choose from!

  2. strowger


    you can’t have too much kale.

    it lasts through the winter in the harshest (uk) climates. plant kale now and have lovely fresh greens from your garden in february.

  3. Petra

    I would sow some extra carrots. The last ones.

  4. Karen M

    I second the vote for kale! Good winter soup. Even grows in the north of Canada in the winter!

  5. Linda

    What about growing things to enrich the soil like legumes e.g. broad beans, or a green crop to dig in eg mustard?
    You could also grow a whole lot of chook food like you talked about before: silverbeet (swiss chard), lettuces, all the seeds that you couldn’t identify at the bottom of the seed box??
    Could be a mystery box! Could be a worm farm! Fun…

  6. bookstorebabe

    Any kind of flowers or herbs you could air dry or freeze, for culinary or soap making purposes? Or just to fill the box and be enjoyed? Not much on kale, but I do like spinach, I’d do that. Instead of regular peas, some sugar snap peas? Autumn/winter flowering bulbs and such? Saffron crocus and hellebores like lenten/christmas rose?

  7. louisa

    Thanks for all the great ideas guys! I knew there was more fun to be had than leaving them empty ;)

    I’m going to start some dwarf french beans this afternoon (a little late for them, but still in the “sow outdoors” window on the seed packet) — I’ll start in pots but then they can go in the bed — and I’ll get some carrots & kale in later this week (when I, in theory, have a little more time) – they can go in the planters.

    I’ve also got some little square-foot planters that I’ll use for some more salad-y things (the stuff I got from my dad on Saturday).

    Very glad I asked! Thanks again!

  8. Sooz

    we have a new garden, so there’s lots of spaces, we’ve just filled up a little bed with spinach, broad beans and beetroot….also we divided a lot of our perennials up if they were in big clumps, and spread them out a bit so it looks like there are more plants!

  9. Millie

    Sorry, just catching up, so you’ve probably filled the gap by now… However, yesterday evenig I sowed a final batch of carrots, for some late autumn veg. Carrots can be sown until the end of July so you can put them straight in now. Just remember to water them!

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