At the end of each season this year I have done a top 5 VSR (Value Space Rating) for crops for that season. I fully intended to do one for Spring using the same formulas I used for the other seasons. (For details on how the formulas work please see my summer post by clicking here.) The only problem is that due to my computer issues I completely failed to keep my spreadsheet updated accurately. So this is an approximation of the my Top 5. I have looked back over my harvest posts, seen which things featured most regularly and then chosen my 5 favourite – which probably amounts to much the same thing….
Coriander – Spring is pretty much the only time I can successfully grow coriander in Melbourne and its so nice to have fresh that this gets points on all counts – $$$ savings, benefit to the garden (the flowers attract bees), convenience and the fact that it is lovely to have fresh.
Lettuce – By far my most consistently harvested crop this Spring was lettuce. It appeared in each and every one of my Monday Harvest posts. I definitely saved a decent amount of money by growing my own. I love the convenience of having it on hand whenever I fancy a salad and I also appreciate not having to wonder how they stop the shop bought leaves from wilting….
Beetroot – Beetroot grows quickly in Spring. It doesn’t take much space in the garden and it is really useful for putting in spots vacated by winter crops. Conveniently it is often ready to be pulled at about the same time as summer crops are big enough for planting out.
Silver beet/Chard – One thing I noticed about Spring crops is that there is quite a big variation between what is available at the start of the season and what is being produced at the end. Silver beet appeared in pretty much every Monday Harvest post until the end of October when it dried up due to bolting. Still 2 months of big bunches earned it its place in the Top 5.
Broad Beans – Taking over when the silver beet left off were the broad beans. For me these are worth growing due to their scarcity if nothing else. I have no idea how much broad beans cost to buy but even if they are cheap you can’t put a price on both; the benefit of having them fresh and that lovely nitrogen they are fixing into your soil.
There is one crop that I have deliberately left off this list, despite the fact that it appeared in enough Harvest posts to qualify. That crop is garlic. The reason I’ve left it off is partially because it is only a borderline Spring crop – I harvested the majority of my crop on the first day of summer. The other reason I left it off is that I am still not over the fact that my entire 1.5kg crop is worth approximately $15.00 based on Woolworths Online price for Australian grown garlic (admittedly not organic). Depressing eh? Not sure how the growers make any money at all based on those prices. I still think its worth growing for flavour, for having a year round supply, for the savings in food miles etc etc. But at a return of not much more than 50 cents a month per square metre you do have to wonder….
And that was my Top 5 for this week, head over to The New Goodlife and check out hers, but not before you tell me what grew well for you this Spring/Autumn.