What has been Ellen Mary's experience? 😉

Doesn't a year come around so fast? I’ve had my Vegepod since Spring 2019, exactly one year. It sits proudly on my allotment in a sunny spot with some afternoon shade, and to be perfectly honest when I first situated it, I wondered what it could provide extra to a greenhouse and a lovely growing space. I mean, how much veg can one person grow!?

My medium size Vegepod was quickly built up and filled with multipurpose compost, allowing me to sow seeds and pop in some plug plants straight away. It really wasn't more than a week after that when I realised just how much benefit it provides to my growing. Seeds soon germinated, plants got their groove on super quickly and all at the same time as being protected from changeable weather and pests. For me, as the year progressed, the water reservoir was invaluable when I couldn’t make it to the allotment for longer periods of time, as it helped to keep the roots watered perfectly.

In the first year, I had a mix of lettuce, cut and come again mixes such as rocket and spinach, chillies, carrots, herbs, cherry tomatoes. For this year I am thinking of all edible flowers perhaps as a trial. I will definitely be growing basil though, as no matter where I try to grow it for some reason it fails, but it was perfect in the Vegepod last year.

At the end of the growing season, I topped up the pod with some organic garden compost to prepare it for the season ahead and closed it over Winter but I undoubtedly could have grown for longer during the cooler months if I hadn't been overseas.

Now it is time to start sowing again and I have been spending hours looking through seed catalogues (come on, I know I’m not the only one)! With the Vegepod in mind, I have decided on a mix of herbs and edible flowers and I cant wait to get sowing. In fact the first seeds will go in starting from early March followed by plug plants in late March/early April. There’s no reason why you can’t start earlier as the lid on the pod does a great job of protection. I just have to plan meticulously due to travels, which actually makes it all the more exciting.

Just as we step over the threshold into spring, it’s time to start sowing many seeds. I often see people panicking about not sowing by the time February comes around, but I have never sown a seed before March - apart from my Sweet Peas back in Autumn last year (although if you didn't do that, you can still sow them now) and I still have a long and productive year growing my own food so there is no reason to worry. March is a great time to start sowing seeds undercover from brassicas to salads, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, chard - so many! Perennial seeds such as Poppies, Cornflowers and wildflowers can be sown directly outside. Don’t forget to chit your potatoes as well and if you are growing cut flowers, get your Gladiolus and Lilies in for a colourful summer display. I love March, the true start of Spring and the month where everything really starts to kick off. There can still be some wintery days and the timing of most spring bulbs is weather dependant but on the fresh, blue sky days we can all enjoy absorbing those warmer spring feels and getting out hands dirty again.

If you’d like to see Ellens Vegepod planted up two ways, watch this video where Mr Plant Geek and Ellen have a plant off Vegepod style: