|Trays of Brussels sprouts and pak choi waiting to be planted out, Aug 2016|
Up until two years ago, I grew my vegetables in the back corner of our property. Although I always grew a few edibles among the flowers near the house, I definitely haven't regretted changing things around. It's so much easier and less work to have them right outside the back door instead of at the far corner. But I there are still some remnants of ornamentals in the beds, such as a very nice peony. I can't move it now or I'll probably kill it. So it, and some other random things (a few raspberry canes, some sorrel, my morello cherry tree), have been hogging vegetable space all growing season until I can move them over winter.
2. Left the chickens on the vegetable beds for a longer period over winter.
I did let my chickens onto the vegetable beds during winter, but only for a week or two. They scratched it up and tidied the debris for me, but I think a longer period would have resulted in fewer pests and more fertilization (poo). I'll certainly keep them on it for at least a month before I start planting vegetables again--maybe even longer.
3. Got the seeds I needed--before I needed them.
I knew I wanted leek seeds. I knew I wanted Brussels sprouts seeds. I didn't have them when I needed them, and instead of waiting for my plants to finally produce some seed (sprouts did, in July; leeks have been in flower since mid summer but no seeds yet), I should have just bought some. Now I'm without new leeks, and the young sprouts are still miniscule; I don't think they have time to grow and produce. I have now bought new leek seeds, and have plenty of collected sprouts seeds, but both have to wait till next spring to sow--and at least a full year from now to harvest.
4. Sheet mulched the asparagus bed before planting them out.
It's a tangle of weeds now. Sigh.