I would like to write a story here about how I plan, maintain, sow and harvest my vegetable garden according to a some what scientific method taking into account no-dig, with crop rotation and with the position of the sun and using the perfect soil and nettle manure and compost tea. But watching too much Youtube paralyzes me and now I follow the principle: if it survives, it can stay.

Knowledge about the vegetable garden and YouTube

The simple truth is that I’ve spent more time in recent years watching YouTube videos on vegetable gardening and compost and whether or not to naturally combat all sorts of dreadful dangers your plants are apparently exposed to than I did with my hands in the soil. Preparation is half the battle, they say.

But too much knowledge can also hold you back, as it turns out. Because I have no idea where to start. Or where it ends. Those 20-minute videos give you no idea of the amount of weeds that can grow in a square meter. Every week!

But they do make you feel like you have to plan it all out and sow and transplant or repot at exactly the right time and keep it at the right humidity in a greenhouse with windows that may or may not be open and and and and….

And the drama of a lettuce eaten by slugs or the decimation of tomatoes in less than two days by some fungus or the fear of a forecast of thunderstorms with the possiblity of hail on my still-too-small fennel seedlings is talked about far too little. Oh, my poor heart!

My approach at the L’Orangerie

So, I just do my best, I order nematodes against the slugs and go slug hunting in the evening with my flashlight, I no longer plant the tomatoes in the open soil but put them in containers on the patio, and buy 4 instead of 15. And if there is a warning sent out because of an orage (thunderstorm) I jump up and put some fleece over the fennel and salads just to be safe. I have learned the difference between a hoe and a rake, I have raked and I weed (sometimes). Learning by doing is my new motto.

Kitchen garden, markets and prohibition

Oh, and my newest scientific vegetable garden plan method that I’m testing in 2022 will be: I see it, I want it, I buy it.

Therefore, I now accidentally have 24 lettuce plants because I couldn’t decide between two trays where there turned out to be 12 instead of 6, as well as broccoli, red cabbage, two types of celery and spinach from the market in Caen. And about five pumpkins, two kinds of melon, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, fennel, eggplant, a sweet potato, zucchini (yellow and green) and palm cabbage. And a ban on going to the garden center anymore. A new kind of prohibition..