Boxes, beds and backs

I have had a persistent back ache, won’t go into technical details, lets just say it’s hindered my ability to get the garden ready for spring. So, we decided to employ a local to rotavate the bits I couldn’t dig. I’ve given up on meadow one, well not exactly given up, but I want it to be mostly a fruit meadow and wildflower area. So the loganberries, raspberries and blackcurrants will be given a raised bed (when I can find some more free wood), some fruits trees (some wild, some bought) have been planted either around the edges or in the middle of the meadow and I have broadcast all the flower seeds I collected last year,

There still remains my hardy kale patch, which I’m loathe to get rid of, as it continues to provide and there’s an area at the end of the meadow by the path leading to the bridge that has extremely good soil, currently it has broad beans in it.

The strawberry beds have been planted with more strawberries (runners, potted on from last years growth) and edged, there is also a fejoa some lupin trees and a black locust here to provide some shade.

I know I’ll have to move the strawberries in a couple of years, but they can go up to the fruit meadow in due course. I’ve planted another rhubarb but it remains to be seen if this will flourish, there are three plants now and they don’t do well. Even when forced

they may well have to moved up to the borrowed meadow (more about that in another entry).

The area around our climbing frame (used to be poly tunnel) which has some self-seeded sweat peas in it, along with some sweet williams and morning glory and kiwi, is now ready for more sweat peas, which were collected last year and are growing happily in pots at home.

I have tried to edge as many areas as I can with the wood I have managed to salvage from the roof of the house, eventually I’ll get it all done, but given that the area on meadow two is at least an acre, not sure how or when or even if. The parsnips and early carrots are in and under fleece.

The leaf bed is sown and covered.

The over-wintered green manure, along with the contents of the compost bin

and blood, fish and bone have been rotavated into the beds for beans etc., this needs to be left for at least two weeks before planting. The over-wintered brassicas continue to flourish (thanks to the alpaca poo) and the purple sprouting broccoli is starting to show. In fact we’re eating some tonight with some home-made sausages from our pig!!

Given our water problems and the amount of energy and effort last year, I am trying to only plant things that will grow from now until late June and then from october/november through the winter. Obviously things like peppers, aubergines and tomatoes will have to go through the summer but as they too will be in a raised bed, mulched they may do better and not need so much water. We know we have to come up with some clever water saving techniques, but whilst Rick is building the house, this is his priority, it takes up all his time and in order to get this done, other things have to fall by the way-side unless I can do them myself.

Last but not least the owl box rick made me for christmas is up and am just waiting for a resident……….

If anyone would like to donate a solar powered web cam thing, like the ones they use on Springwatch, that would be great, then I can see if there is any activity, adopt a box, maybe?

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3 Responses to Boxes, beds and backs

  1. michelle says:

    so lush…worth all the hard work Sarah!

  2. Jackie says:

    I've been reading your blog for some time and have been v impressed – especially with the pigs. I have been prompted to write however because of your p s broccoli. When did you plant that? I sowed a whole load last spring and although the seed packet did say it would be a year before harvest there seems to be no sign of the actual broccoli heads. The plants are healthy and v tall – am I impatient?
    And yes RIP Betty – we have 4 chickens for eggs (we are going to expand towards table birds soon) and would have been v upset to have found her.
    PS We live in Portugal too – have a look at the blog 🙂

  3. Hi Jackie, thanks for your comments and for viewing!!! much appreciated, re: the brocolli, it's difficult for me to see exactly when I planted it as although I keep a plan in a book for some reason i haven't entered all the dates for everything, but i think i planted most of it last spring and some a bit later, it's all over the place, some is producing but quite short plants, the taller ones aren't doing much, give them time, i'll try and rememeber where the seed came from from the productive ones, or i'll let one go to seed and collect and share, where in portugal are you? have book marked your blog, will have a look in a bit. cheers

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