How Was Your Garden Or Allotment in 2023? Here’s My Gardening Review of 2023 & Plans For 2024.
Table of Contents
December was a busy month for me. The rain kept me indoors more than I’d have liked to have been inside, but it gave me time to write 14 new articles for the website. Why not check them out on the carousel below? Just use the arrows in the box below to see the last 6-7.
If you want to see more then go to the homepage and surf back through the posts as far as you like. There are now over 400 articles on the website.
Rain, Rain and More Rain
I’m lucky enough to have a Met Office weather station not far from my garden and can see the readings for the last 24 hours plus many others for the year. What is clear is that we’ve had a lot of rain. And that is confirmed by the total water stored in the reservoirs in my region. They are already over 84% full whereas last year they were 60% full and in 1995 were only 47% full at the same dates.
Having said this, I’ve seen some evidence that the rainfall has actually decreased over the last five decades. It seems we have more days when it rains a bit, more very heavy downpours but less total rain. This is something to consider over the next few years.
2023 was like most gardening years. Everywhere I looked I saw people discussing, debating and even arguing about how to garden. The Dig or No Dig debate continues, peat free composts and poor quality composts are high on the agenda and now it’s the “when to start sowing seeds” season.
My view is simple. Firstly it’s great that you are gardening. Gardening by any method is better than no gardening and this site was set up at the beginning of Covid to encourage and help more people enjoy gardening. Each year we have seen more and more people visit the site and in the last three years we’ve had visits from every single country and territory in the world except one! That elusive last one still hasn’t visited. Maybe in 2024!
My second thought on the controversies is another simple one. Often there are no right ways to do things. Or more to the point there might be more than one right way and we ought to consider other ways before condemning them out of hand. Thats not to say we should accept everything at face value and that thought has prompted me this year to cite scientific research where I can. I don’t want to just spout my own thoughts here; I want them to be thoughts based on experience AND scientific research/evidence.
Having said that I still get frustrated by some of the myths that I see repeated day after day, not only by amateur gardeners but by some presenters and writers that should know better. I’ve challenged a few and when asked on what basis they make certain claims, and they frequently fail to provide evidence. We should always question whatever we hear or read, especially on social media.
Now that this website contains a lot of articles it is taking up a huge amount of server space and the old adage of computer memory being as cheap as chips seems to be untrue. Hosting costs have risen and risen and risen .. and this years bill is over £500 + VAT.
When I’ve told people this they have told me that I ought to be able to get much cheaper hosting. And its true cheap hosting is available. But cheap isn’t always good. In this case it means servers that can’t cope with the amount of traffic we get on the website. At peak we are getting over 20,000 visitors a month and that requires servers that can cope with that volume of traffic and not crash when I post a new article.
So I’ve made a decision. and it’s been a hard one to make. I’m looking for financial support to help pay for hosting. I refuse to run adverts or take a gardening sponsor that will want me to promote their products or services but there are potentially other businesses or individuals that might help.
The sort of business I’d like to offer sponsorship is one with a green or environmental background that sees the value in people gardening, in producing their own food and in reducing food miles etc. If you know of one I’d be delighted to hear more.
I’d like to say thank you at this stage to all those that have used the Buy Me Some Seeds system on the website. Quite a number of people have contributed a fiver, and some even more, and I’m extremely grateful to them for doing so. I’m going to leave that system on the site whilst seeking a sponsor so feel free to contribute if you wish and can.
PS If you prefer to donate via PayPal there’s an option for that as well.
Thanks to everyone that gave me a Google Review this year. The last time I looked there were 69 of them. They help more people find the website, so thanks to everyone that reviewed How To Dig For Victory. Click the link if you want to be number 70. https://g.page/r/Cc5AkLlTqZbaEBM/review
I did manage to publish two books this year and have another part written … I have to confess it’s been part written for several years and I keep adding more to it but never finishing it. My other writing keeps taking over, and this year I did a quick word count of all the articles on the website and discovered I’d written over half a million words. Perhaps over 2024 I’ll make it a million! Watch this space.
Finally, let me wish you a great gardening year. Keep the pictures, advice and questions coming and I’ll try to keep up with them, plus write a few more articles.
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Tags: Gardening Review of 2023.