Monday, 14 March 2011

New veg beds

We've been very busy in the garden. I made a start on my mini forest border and it is looking quite nice, I'll try and take some pictures to post later.

John took a couple of days off either side of the weekend, so we managed to get quite a lot done. My raspberries now have some support so they aren't flopping every where any more, I have a new washing line (boring but essential as I don't have a tumble dryer) and all my new veg beds have nice wooden edges.

The ground here is absolutely full of stones which makes digging a very hard and sometimes pain full experience. I started digging the new veg beds last year and managed to make two new beds. I completed another one last week but it was such hard work and my arms and hands were sore from the jarring when the fork was hitting the stones.

Raised beds seemed to be the answer but they can cost a fortune to fill up. I have read on various websites about lasagne beds (they go by various different names but I like lasagne beds), basically you layer different materials in your raised bed which will break down to make soil. I started with a layer of cardboard to cover the grass, followed by some straw and some of my garden compost, I emptied some of last years used grow bags onto them and some top soil, that had previously been some turfs that I had removed and stacked the year before last when I made a flower bed. I will probably add some lawn clippings as well next time I mow that lawn.

So now I have three traditional double dug beds and four lasagne beds, it will be interesting to see how they compare, watch this space!

Thursday, 3 March 2011


I can't believe that it's March already! It's been nearly a month since I last posted.

My sister has just started growing vegetables and I am helping her to set up her new veg beds. We are planning on spending a day a week in each others gardens working together. It's nice to have company and I can help her to learn about growing veg. She doesn't have space for a green house so we will sew seeds in modules here whenever possible. We are also sharing packets of seeds which will hopefully save us both some money.

Today she has been here and we have started sowing a few things (tomatoes, chillies, aubergines and cucumbers). These are now sitting on the kitchen window sill. The greenhouse has a broken pane of glass so I will need get that fixed before anything goes out there. My niece found a packet of sweet peas in my seed box and declared that she wanted to grow some pretty flowers, we helped her sew some in loo roll tubes. She a nice new pink watering can so she can help mummy and aunty Jayne.

I have been reading a lot about permaculture and forest gardening recently and have decided to try to create a mini forest garden border on the other side of the garden to the new veg patch. I have bought a couple of fruit trees and some gooseberries, which were very cheap in home base. I will add to it as and when I can afford to, hopefully it will be a productive but low maintenance area. I will probably blog about this in more detail later.