Tag Archives: raised beds

Rebuilding the dream #gdnbloggers

cayennes

The sun’s been out today; everything feels very much hopeful, and full of potential. I’ve seen potential, having fished out half a dozen baby chilli’s from the heated propagator. I was wondering when these would come through, it had been some time since the seeds had been sown. I wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful as the pellets had repeatedly dried out and there was some sense of frustration. I had sown chocolate habaneros on one side of the prop with cayennes on the other. It would appear that only half of the prop is working. The hababeros have not germinated, the pellets have dried out. Some part of me suspects that the blessed box may be on it’s last legs. I hope that it hangs on a little while, I have tomatoes to sow in a month or so. I will be keeping an eye on the habaneros, perhaps sow another batch.

The job now is to nurture the seedlings, see if they start to become more robust. The mild weather is meant to stick around for the next week or so. If there is a cold snap, these are still quite  vulnerable to a chill.

And with all that potential at hand.

I went to the plot today.

There was much to be gained, after a fortnight of turbulence in the real life. I planned to get some grounding, lose the tinge of drama and stress that I’ve accumulated and experienced and also lose myself within the pleasure of being on the plot. With a playlist and headphones at hand, I popped on my wellies, grabbed my hoody. I was walked down by my Mum, who wanted to tackle her own plot.

(Note to self; find wireless headphones. You’ll end up chopping the wire with your secateurs).

My plan, at first, was to pull up grass. At first,  I did; much of what I put my hand to, did come up and away. Then it was a case of covering things up.

The first half of the plot has a dozen raised beds. I have built each one by hand-I remember the blisters-and most of them are in some form of shape. They are however low on dirt; they sink every year and will need to be filled back up again. For now, I am covering them, to contain and protect. The top of the plot, is nearly seventy per cent covered, the poly tunnel is there too in a sorry state of disrepair. This will either be recovered and form a brassisca cage, or recovered to once again be a hot house. If you ask my mum, it will probably be a cabbage cage. I quite fancy a chilli factory, to be honest.

Five raised beds were tidied and covered, there are still many more to look at. There is grass everywhere, most of it dead, so easy to get out of the way. It felt good to be back on the plot, to have impetus and to also be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If the raised beds are tidied, I can then think about the spaces in between. These can be turned into paths or even patches of flowers if I think about sinking bulbs, corns and gladioli. It would be nice to  have flowers back on the plot, the roses could do some TLC but are starting to form leaf buds.Still a bit early, to even contemplate sunflowers, so all in good time.

A rather unexpected but not surprising side effect of going to the plot, is the spark to write. I have an idea, for Devan III, it needs some beefing up though. I plan to go to the plot tomorrow, there is more work to be done; maybe the other plot will come together too.

And yes, I creak all over. In a good way…..

Squelching through the sludge

Over the last two weeks, it has been rather difficult to walk down to the plot. Mainly as the weather has been atrocious, but also as I start a new post. The sum of any visits has been to wander down there in the red wellingtons and see if the puddles have got any deeper. One takes one’s life into one’s hands just getting down the path. Sadly, there is no money in the site budget to fix it. I grumbled about that a fair bit at the plot meeting. It is turning into a health and safety hazard. The plot itself, is a maze of puddles; as you will see from the videos. Which is why there are so many raised beds. The benefit of the rain, is that I can see where I need to build things up. The plot is actually lower than the path that runs alongside.

The plot cuts something of a post-apocalyptic scene in the desolate dire winter. A stark contrast to the flourishing flowering scene in the summer gone. I must remember to sow the sunflowers for the Sunflower project 2014. I encourage to think about that, a good cause and it makes the plot look oh so pretty!

I know that the for the last few weeks, all the updates have been somewhat miserable. Sadly, I cannot control the weather! The growing season is still in it’s infancy.

Took a walk down to plot 2 today. Wanted to update you all on just what was happening. Very cold, but very bright. Just not very playable though.

Bit of sunshine, lots of puddles. So much to clear up.

I have battled with the topography of the plot. It is lower in the middle, than everywhere else. Water forms puddles, that then just stand and stay there stagnating. The key has been raised beds. I can safely say, that they have been very useful. Allowed me to get growing, and be successful with it. last year, three beds were full of potatoes. The spuds worked reasonably well, I got potatoes, that was good enough for me. However, there was a lot slug damage to them. The beds were filled with assorted organic matter. Grass cuttings, horse poop, and leaf mold. This year, the beds have sunk; as they do. So will need to have more material added to them.

There are onions, shallots and garlic in there somewhere. These were all planted through cardboard. I would have expected to see a bit more top growth by now, but these were planted a whole month later than expected. In addition, there has been a lot of rain. I can only hypothesis that the roots are being set down, at least by those sets that have survived the wet and inclement weather.

Leaf mold! This was all collected last year, and is cooking in the cold. There are two aims for this stuff. To first use in the raised beds, and there are quite a few raised beds. Then to put what remains where I can, to improve the soil and help raise the open ground areas. Last year, one entire builders bag was used to fill a 1mx2m bed. This bed was then used to cultivate two courgettes and marrows. I can safely say, that the decaying matter did them wonders. Prolific anyway, the squashes somewhat thrived with all that leaf mold.

Mission accomplished, job done

“Fresh dirt under my finger nails”- ‘the sun’ by Maroon5

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After months and months of worrying, calculation and foul weather; a job has been done!

All 12 raised beds are now full of dirt!

All of them were filled with last years leaf mold, garden waste, anything that I could get my hands on. So as to prevent me from having to shell out for huge amounts of compost. This was really starting to bug me.

Today offered a lovely opportunity to get a big job done. With three beds containing poop and potatoes, that was useful. There was still one and a half bags of leaf mold left. So this was used to layer up three of the 1mx1m beds, in that they were bulked up. Then, each bed of the nine got composted. I had hit the garden centre this morning, doing two trips and feeling on a mission. I was going to get this job done, it felt right today.

In the two trips, the large bags were carted to the plot and placed in situ. A quick wardrobe change-had to put the red wellingtons on- magic spade in hand, and off I pootled. Leaf mold was shovelled into where it needed to be. Then one by one, each bed was filled. It has to be noted that I am aware that beds do sink so over time and will need to be filled up. So these beds are not entirely filled. But full enough.

Whilst it is bright-there was a funeral today, in Blighty-it is windy! Very windy. I found myself stopping to stand still, so as to now keel over and into the dirt.

Filling the beds is a huge, huge landmark. Very important, if the plot as a whole is going to work. Means I can think in detail now as to what gets planted, when and how. My initial thoughts are of Ma’s fenugreek and spinach; perhaps some chard too. It’s no good filling it but not using it. Squashes will be going into the beds, but it is a little early yet.

The game is well and truly on!

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Making one’s beds

The plot is wonky, in the lowest bit of the plot, and therein liable to become a pond. The clay, could probably be well worked by a potter; for all it’s nutritional value, it has given me a headache. The remedy, or means to make it practical. Raised beds.

This summer, the boon of online sales of the gardening sales, led to raised beds being purchased. These were addition to the one, bought last autumn. The reason why, was that Mama H nearly clambered into the claggy, heavy clay, and then very nearly couldn’t come back out again. She had sunk nearly a couple of feet. This would not do! Especially, as part of the remit of having a half plot is that there would be indian food grown there. This in the most generic sense, involves Spinach of the Indian variety. I don’t what Indian Spinach is specifically. Only that red cardinal leaves really don’t cut it.

So to keep Mama H safe, and to have a productive plot, the raised beds are warranted. There are 12 beds in total. The vary between 1m x 1m  and 2m x 1m. All were delivered, swiftly by an online shop. All were straight forwards in their construction. The only issues, blisters, and pops making some of them.

I was more than happy to construct them! Alas, pops didn’t want them cluttering his garage, and before I got around to them. He took a screwdriver to the last one. I had managed to construct three, and fully anticipated the fourth one. The four smaller ones, I did construct. However, Pops being Pops, had to reinforce them before they were taken the 80 yards down to the plot. There was blisters, I might add. Though that was not me being a bit feeble. I attribute that to the screwdriver. An old one that belongs to Pops, that has been around since the arc. No good using the newer one, it didn’t feel right. Once constructed, these were placed on the plot on top of newspaper.

As it stands, and the water does-badoom, crash-the beds are filled with leaf mold. This is most likely going to sink over time as it decays. The plan,or half plan rather, is to fill these with compost. There is the poop that Pops shovelled to also put into them.

Yours in Anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit