Yay! The vege plot is Go!

Haven’t blogged for quite a few weeks – May is such a busy month in the garden. And I’ve made 2 dresses and been knitting too. Oh, and finished another module for my Master’s degree. So it’s been a bit busy! But anyway….

The veg plots are finished (huge grin):

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Looking up the garden

Looking down the garden

Looking down the garden

 

So we started with a plan, and a big pile of wood, back in March:

Wood for building vege beds

Wood for building vege beds

Keith took 3 weeks off in April, and started by using the large sleepers to build steps to terrace the space – these are ideal for plonking plants on, and for sitting drinking tea while admiring your work 🙂

First step is in

First step is in

Drinking tea, admiring Keith's work

Drinking tea, admiring Keith’s work

Then he put Mypex on the paths, and built the beds – these are just frames laid on to the ground. They’re not raised but only 4 inches high – over time the soil level in the beds should come up as we cultivate and add organic matter, but they don’t need filling, like conventional raised beds.

Laying Mypex paths

Laying Mypex paths

Next step was to add organic matter – because we haven’t grown any veg for a few years, but have continued to make compost and leafmould, we had lots. We are trying to sourse some horse manure for future years but it appears to be under the control of disorganised teenagers! Anyway, I put compost where I planned to grow spuds, brassicas, flowers, and squashes. Spaces for legumes, onions and roots got leafmould. Then I planted the first crop – spuds:

The first crop is planted

The first crop is planted

And because it’s ‘no dig’, earthed up with straw (must add more this weekend):

Potatoes under a straw mulch

Potatoes under a straw mulch

Finally we added gravel to the paths. The original plan was to have a work-party to do this, but when it arrived it didn’t look too much, so Keith moved it all himself.

Doesn't it look lovely?

Doesn’t it look lovely?

In the second strawed bed are sunflowers and sweet peas – growing up the bamboo canes. The straw is to retain moisture and keep down weeds. However, I haven’t put it on all the beds because there was lots of bindweed in the space before the black plastic was laid and I’m concerned it’s not dead yet! Bindweed loves mulch but hates regular disturbance, so I’m hoeing the other beds regularly, and just hand weeding the 2 with straw. That was I should win the battle within a few years.

Under the Enviromesh are brussel sprouts and curly kale – just a few plants of each. These plants suffer with so many pests that it’s just easier to grow them under cover.

I have also planted some dwarf sunflowers, cosmos (not veg I know, but for picking), salads (need to do more this weekend), broad beans, peas, and runner beans. I need to re-sow my curcurbits as they have all suffered from slug attacks – but it’s not too late yet and they should germinate quickly in the warm weather we’re enjoying. I also lost my French beans to slugs, and had planned to pick up replacements at the farm shop – but I went there today and they have sold out 🙁 That probably means a trip to the garden centre will be needed one evening next week (I hate going there on sunny weekends – it’s manic and I could be gardening instead of shopping).

Other jobs for this weekend are to pot on the dahlias for the terracotta pots, and swap them with the tulips that have gone over now. Then to pot on some of my many tomato plants, and re-home the spares. This should lead to a tidier greenhouse which has become a bit of a mess as I concentrated on the vege plot:

Untidy greenhouse

Untidy greenhouse

It’s lovely that the garden’s looking so good – the roses are just starting to bloom, and a sunny weekend is forecast. Time to go do some hoeing before dark, then settle down with my knitting, a beer and Gardeners’ World.

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