Wednesday arrives – and some rain

Well, it’s raining, drizzling to be frank, and it seems like ages since it’s actually rained.  Given I have 4 beds all neatly dug, which have been drying out for a week or so, I’m thankful.

I’ve managed to get the frameworks in for all four beds this week – Mick & Keef, and Brian & Charlie.  The frameworks were fun: a chance to try out long lost drilling skills ( what is the precise difference between a masonry and a wood drill bit?) and then play with my new toy, a battery powered screwdriver.

 

Think a woodwork course may be next
Minding out for fingers

My other task for the weekend was to source lime for all the beds, and to order topsoil.  My RHS should survey came back: soil is low in potassium, and pretty acidic with a pH of 5.5.  Not entirely sure if I need to do this if I’m covering the beds with topsoil, but it seems a ‘belt and braces’ approach.  I’ve got at least 1 bulk bag already delivered, and will order more if needed.

I decided I need to name the beds so that I can keep track of the much mooted 4 bed rotation.   The Ramones would have been a better bet – but blogging about the progress that Dee Dee, Joey, Johnny and whats-his-name have made would have given away my poor rock credentials.  So it’s the Stones – easier to remember, and leaves room for some changes after that difficult second album (Brian out perhaps, Ronnie & Bill in).

The plan is Spuds & Toms, Beans & Squashes, Onions / Leeks, and Brassicas.  Even as I type I know my enthusiasm for growing onions / leeks etc in a separate bed is waning.  I want to grow asparagus in a permanent bed.  And I don’t want to dig another bed until I’ve actually harvested something.  So I may use one for asparagus, and see how this year pans out by popping the onions & spring onions in opportunistically.

I’m hoping that this time next year the turf stack will be usable as compost; but I’m not convinced.

Four beds, turf all removed and stacked tidily
Hope that Monty would approve!

 

Anyway later this week I’ll finally be on the final stage of bed prep, and able to plant something: the asparagus crowns probably.

Onward and upwards!

‘Morning all…

Well, I thought I’d start by explaining a little about this blog.  I’ve started a veg patch.  Frankly I blame Monty Don: which might be a bit too UK specific, so I’d better explain that before I actually get going.

Having stopped work a year ago, I started to garden and garden properly too.  With kit, and training and all that.  So off to the RHS and their Level 2 Course in Horticulture.  Last year was all botany, propagation, pests and diseases, and I now understand the connection between Potato Cyst Eelworm and Ridley’s cat.
This year the Practical: which has meant double digging, creation of a Wildlife Friendly garden, properly understanding how to take cuttings, how to sow seeds in perfect ‘Victoria sponge’ seed compost, and creating wigwams for beans.  Runner beans, broad beans, French beans, all manner of beans.  It’s a blast; and because I’m really going to miss Monday mornings digging in Hadlow my need for some ground to dig up has grown.

Add watching too many episodes of Gardener’s World on the BBC with Monty Don as Head Gardener and his fab loam and perfect pottager, and this means I have become fascinated by growing veg.  One pub conversation too many, and my poor friend is now interrupting her new ‘working from home’ efforts at downshifting and peace and quiet helping my efforts at digging.

So, after quite a lot of digging, I now have four beds, dug out of pristine pasture, each 8 foot by 4.  I’m currently enclosing with timber, and once finished, I’ll top off with topsoil.

Next post: aches, pains and lessons about digging, drilling, and planning the patch.