I pulled up my last carrot tonight to have with my tea, I’ve been putting it off since my second sowing were all munched by slugs as seedlings and I didn’t want to be without my homegrown carrots after discovering just how good they are, but now I regret the delay because it’s just not as tasty as the younger carrots were, all lessons to learn for next year I guess. On the plus side I’ve finally managed to pick enough peas to have with a meal so I’m looking forward to that!
I wonder about starting carrots off in old toilet rolls under they are old enough to fend off slug attacks then just planting out the full roll..
Later tonight I’ll be single digging one of the new veg beds after re-reading Monty Dons book to find he’d written that double digging isn’t required on grassland (yay!)
At the weekend I finally got round to planting out the 80 odd flowers that I’d bought from Thompson & Morgan as tiny post-sized plug plants, unfortunately when I labelled them I used an inky pen which just disappeared from the labels after a while so there were a few unknowns in there (yet more lessons learned!). At the moment the flower bed looks more like a veg bed but hopefully the plants will fill out and I’ll be planting annuals in any gaps next year. The bamboo canes are marking out the area I’m planning to have a hazel wigwam which will probably have sweet peas growing up it.
My husband told me that I always have grand plans which involve too much work but it keeps me busy and out of trouble, he should think himself lucky that all I want to do is dig and not shop!
I figured since it wasn’t raining at the weekend I should make a start on the double digging of my new veg beds, I had read it was hard work but the only major issue I found was that I’d greatly underestimated how unaccustomed my hands are to a bit of work! I had dug half way along my first bed when I stopped for dinner and whilst inside I referred to my Monty Don Complete Gardener book which says if the bed was previously grass then double digging isn’t required, just single dig and lay the turf upside down in the trenches. Well if Monty says so then it’s good enough for me! Plus it’s half the work and it’s somewhere to hide the masses of turf we’ve created.
The flower bed hasn’t been so easy to dig over because about half a spit deep is where the soil stops, underneath is some sort of builders grit which has been used underneath the slabs on our front path. I think I’ll just incorporate a load of compost and look on the positive side that the bed should be well drained and suit all the lavender plants I’ve got waiting to go in. I’ve got 100 allium bulbs headed my way come September so I’ll need to look into whether I can plant them in this bed as planned or whether the soil will just be too shallow.
We hired a turf cutter on Friday, thankfully it was the first dry day we’d had in what felt like months.
We cut out 5 veg beds, a flower bed allowing for a grass path between it and an existing bed and widened the edge where we had planted a mixed native hedge last November just to give it a bit more room because I don’t think we’d given it enough grass free space when we planted it.
We then relaid some of the turf on the ground which was a raised gravel area full of bricks and broken pipes just a few weeks ago. Really happy with how it looks now.
I’ve been cutting lengths of turf and piling them upside down in a compost bay so it should hopefully rot down into nice topsoil but there’s so much turf I may have to find somewhere else for a secondary pile.
Elsewhere my peas are finally showing and I can’t wait to eat them straight from the pod, I’m running low on carrots and I think my second sowing seedlings have mostly been munched (by snails?) along with most of my stawberries so I’m a bit dissapointed. The sweetcorn seems to be doing well, there are plenty of tassels so I just give the plants a shake on the way past to help them pollinate and fingers crossed there’ll be corn on the cob to be eaten soon.
I’ve got lots of little tidying jobs to finish and then I’ll mainly be double digging in preparation for next years veg. My back hurts at the very thought of it!
The turf cutter hire has been arranged for this week, a bit sooner than I’d have liked as it’s hard to get the ground prepared with all this rain but due to work it was now or mid September which wouldn’t give me too much time to double dig the new beds before winter sets in.
This will be the site for my veg plot, I’ll have 5 beds which will be 3mx1.2m with grass paths around and in between.
I have a list of the veg I’d like to grow next year so once the hard labour is done I can sit down over winter with a pen and paper to make sure it’ll all fit!
We visited a garden centre ‘just for lunch’ at the weekend and came away with an Acer ‘Osakazuki’ tree and as always our car took on the challenge well.
Planting something was a nice change from the normal destruction that goes on in the garden at the moment.
Aside from the new beds I’ve got a few other bits and pieces I’d like to get done including improvements to the compost bin and setting up an outdoor sink for cleaning veg so I don’t keep filling the kitchen sink with soil!