If you’re anything like me, you love to DIY as much as possible.
Which means that growing food in difficult soil winds us up continually.
Here are 10 things that survived clay soil and frosty winters year after year here, making garden food easy to grow and maintain.
Adored worldwide as a staple, potatoes survive almost anything. Normally by early Spring the leftovers of my Winter harvest has begun chitting (technical term here, no laughing!] and I can plant them out. But even when I didn’t my potatoes reseeded themselves from the tiny spuds left behind last year.
Literally any time a potato grows shoots, plant it out and see what happens.
Just don’t plant out chitting potatoes straight into frost. Plant out clean ones early, green ones later. The shoots can be devoured by frost and you will waste good potatoes.
2: Woody berries.
Woody berry bushes like blackberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries all do great in our soil and even through frosts. They thrive in hedge areas.
Our parsnips reseed themselves every year, although I will often let a single ‘snip become fully mature and harvest all the seeds to keep over Winter, to minimize crop loss. They do great and are actually tastier once the first Winter frost has nibbled them.
Not great at reseeding themselves in our soil, but they are persistent. Still got three broccoli bushes from two years ago. They have never floured, so I never picked them, but I gather the leaves in Winter and they dutifully regrow in Spring.
Cut back and dry out your marjoram over Winter, leave it alone over Spring and Summer to regrow. It’s a beautiful, fragrant herb that does well pretty much anywhere.
I always thought strawberries were fickle plants that keeled over and died at nothing at all. Apparently only the leaves are. I planted our strawbs out where they can be guarded by weeds and parsnips and they are thriving. They just need a bit of foliage around them to help retain enough water, a wall against late frosts and a little sunshine and they produce berries even in the harshest soil.
Mint grows everywhere and will dominate your whole garden.
Rhubarb is not at all hard to grow. Just make sure the roots don’t get choked by grass or weeds as they get established, pull the stems out instead of cutting them and clear up after Autumn is over. They will grow back.
A little like mint, established chives will regrow year after year without a problem and slowly creep across your garden.
Never had bad luck with raddishes anywhere. Sometimes not had particularly good luck and this soil is awful for them compared to milder, softer soils. But they still grow here. Sow them out, wait, and they will rise up for you to eat all through Summer and Autumn. They don’t really reseed, though, as we eat them before they flower.
And those are 10 plants that survive our garden. What troubles does your garden have? Got any gardening staples?
TTFN and Happy Hunting!