digging

The plan

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My next step with the garden is to plan. And I have a few… I have to admit I was dreaming up ideas for our garden long before we moved in.

So here is a list of what I would like to achieve:

-Making the garden safe for our toddler is my top priority.

-We need to do some fence maintenance.

-Pruning and working out what we actually have in the garden. I think I am going to have to start a log book so I can remember. It’s a bit of a mystery until spring and then probably a until a full year has passed, but I’m trying to work it out. It’s a fairly established garden, which is nice as we can enjoy it already, but it does also mean it’s not a blank canvas and we need to work around some established plants or be brutal.

-Sorting and reorganising my allotment gear. Which has been put into our shed… in a bit of a crazy pile. (Moving an allotment is not an easy job!!) But the shed smells very authentic; just like my grandpas did.

-Working out a general plan for the space. Involving a greenhouse (this is realistically something for next year) and creating growing space for veg and flowers….

-Sorting out the soil. Whilst the garden has been cared for, it lacks the beautiful soil I achieved at the allotment. You don’t have to dig far to hit clay and rocks. Raised beds and lots of digging are on the agenda.

-A diy ‘mud kitchen’ for our toddler.

-Location for my hammock!! Although I have no idea where the bolts or actual hammock are since we moved!!

-A small child friendly wildlife pond. Bug hotel, nesting boxes and feeders.

-Pots and pots and pots for my dream container patio situation.

-I need to remove some brambles although I think they will be my new garden foe. I like the fruit, but the spikes less!

I’m also expanding my seed sourcing. Discovering chiltern seeds via an insta explore. Which has made me realise that we need proper garden plan as my ideas are running a bit wild. So I need to focus and I need to get going.

Saturday morning seed hunting

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the ‘garden’, but I think it’s a ‘jump in a crack on’ situation. Need to remind myself nothing is permanent and the learning has to start somewhere. I’m looking forward to the clocks changing as some evening gardening can start!

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Alice in wonderland at the plot!

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On Saturday I went to the plot on a potato mission…. Better late than never!

However I was confronted by this weedy walkway, and then stung by nettles. How do they grow so fast!? Enter ‘the spade of destruction’. I really do hate the weeds as they are a haven for pesky slugs and snails. (sorry slugs n snails)

In my mind I was thinking… Nooo must do the potatoes! However I find the plot leads you off like Alice in Wonderland.

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Weedy walkway... Before and after

I got back to my potatoes. And I fast realised what I probably already knew. Too many potatoes! Not enough space. And lots of path. This was my spacing test….

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Poatoes and path. No space!

So the path had to go… And I pulled up the weed blocker. Then the feeling of “what have I done!!” started. This path has been down for 3 years…. Wonks n all.

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Who needs a path anyway!

It’s now Monday; I still ache and my palms feel bruised! But my very late early potatoes are in! And all but a small section of path remains!

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Big bed

Half way through ‘alice style’ I thought; oh let’s see what going on with the compost bin! This is my first 3 years and my first diy compost!! Exciting times! The soil under the path was pretty poor, so I mixed a bit in as I went. Hopefully it won’t damage my potatoes.

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Compost lover

My plot has always been wonkey. So I also decided to make the potatoes raised. But it’s more a plateau! As my husband called it a paddy field plot! At this stage I realised next weekend would involve wooden board sourcing and installing.

This is my plot in overview… It desperately neds a good tidy and organise.

Digging, seeds and sunsets!

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Break time on Saturday… And I came equiped with crisps and tea! I had a nice sit in my comfy chair in the greenhouse listening to the birds sing!

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Break time!

I have been digging the future potato bed….again. Removing the endless rubble. The bit I dug looked beautiful 🙂 hopefully it will be worth the hard work,  with no funny shaped potatoes. This is my first year using this bed for potatoes. I have to say I’m very inspired by my plot neighbour. Since our first year he has been full of encouragement. He must have come down during last week, as I haven’t seen him this year. He is a stealth gardener! I don’t know how he does it. But it goes from a bit weedy to beautiful fine soil within days… I try to console myself that he has had the plot for a long time. So oneday mine might be like that too!

I took a mini break for the hard digging. And I peered into my caged outdoor seeds. I have been planning to dig this over again as the seeds didn’t take.

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Caged seeds!

However. I peered closer (I got down to ground level, looking I’m sure like a nut case) And I spotted little shoots of green!! So I had tidy up… And hey presto we have baby spring onions!!

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Spring onion seeds. Outside!

I can be very impatient with outside seeds. And this just reminds me to sit tight and wait sometimes! If I had time last week, I would have dug over. Lucky escape for these guys!

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Chilli seeds

And this is my last few chilli seeds coming up (in mini prop at the flat) another story of patience!

I took my friend down to see the plot on Friday and we got treated to this beautiful sunset!

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Sunset
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View from the plot sunset

We got some grow bags and a few extra seeds! Now back to reality!

Weekend workout

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Good workout weekend.
Drum roll!

I fixed the green house door! And I will now be known as ‘queen of the staple gun’! Hopefully it will last another 2 years. Here are my tools… Took me about 2 days to actually locate the correct equipment… So in itself that was a minor achievement!

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Tools!

And this is the door installed 🙂 I’m just glad its finally done!

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Finished door

I had a huge dig. My first big work out for the year. I started at around 10; and left at around 2. My tummy was literally growling for food when I got home.

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Dug over my future potato bed (the Z bed)… Again. And put some strawberry plants in pots down the side of the bed. The soil keeps escaping the bed onto our shared path… Hopefully it’s a good flexible planting/edging solution.

I had a strawberry tidy up… It might be the wrong time of year for this; hopefully I haven’t done to much harm.
I pulled out the illegal plants that had grown in any available space and removed the old brown decaying leaves. I then put down some new grow stop matting. I only got half the bed done..  but you can see the madness vs attempt at organisation!

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Strawberries!

I planted up my vertical growing tube with strawberry runners from last year. It’s sort of vertical gardening… I will get a photo next time I visit the plot. Again maybe I should have waited till March… But I was just a bit keen. Hopefully as they are runners they are already pretty tough! I hope it will end up looking a bit like this.

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Strawberry inspiration

I dug half my mini back bed and put spring onion seeds in.

Dug the bed nearest the greenhouse and removed what I thought was ‘green manure’ as I had dug it in. But it wasn’t really doing a lot; as far as rotting down goes. So it might have just been a weed. Who knows. Anyway I putted what was left, out. This took an age! I then put broad bean seeds in 🙂

I’m already going off piste from any sort of plan! When I have seeds in my hand I just can’t help myself!

It was a great day for digging as it was gloriously sunny… If a bit soggy. I even got down to my t-shirt…The allotment t-shirt tan is never far away! Can’t wait to get back there next weekend!

Snug bugs and sunshine!

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It was lovely and sunny! And we finally got the beds dug over and manured. But it wouldn’t have been half as quick without my lovely assistant. All but 2 beds are now ready to go  🙂
We found some lovely big worms, and as you can see the robbin was desperately trying to get a look!

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We finally chopped and cleared the cabbage bed. Got the last lot of garlic in the ground. Cleared the greenhouse. Moved the bags ready to go to the dump… Then to my amazement I found a huge nest of lady birds. All different varieties. So I covered them back up and and invested in a bug house… I had a few lady birds that were attached to bags so I tried to re home them and they did seem to be happy to move in.

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But I left the house next to the others under a clump of leaves. Not sure of it will work; but I will try to make my ladybirds snug bugs for winter! Once I am a bit more organised I will try and make a proper bug palace.  I saw this bug house when I visited an rhs garden in the summer… I need to start skip raiding!

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After all I say in my greenhouse and enjoyed the sun… Whilst some eating chocolate! What could be better?

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Then I ordered some veggies to grow… I got a bit carried away so I will check what I ordered tonight!

Friday Day off work

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So todays a funny day off work and I got some time down the plot first thing.

Cleared out snail city and bed behind the greenhouse.

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I weeded the onions a bit, as they had been a but over run. Tomorrow I am investing in an onion hoe and some nice mulch material. Keeping the net on them for now.

I potted up the chillies into big pots! Have them back in the flat… Hopefully they will be happy on the window sills.

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I have moved the 2nd set of hoops so we can net another bed a start some more seeds. So much to do!

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Also the tree branch we cut earlier this year are shooting…

Friday night post

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So last weekend we got stuck in;
Saturday
I got my idea of grow tunnels off the ground; using water pipe, wood, canes and wire… I purchased my mesh to stop the birds and bugs getting my future veggies. Probably a bit silly, but I hope being prepared will help later. This is the result (without mesh)
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Also;
Water butt is re located so it will.collect water once fully connected

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And got my tomato seeds going and potted on… 2 varieties and another to go. May be a bit tomato crazed! Also grown some marigolds to keep bugs at bay.

Sunday we dug our socks off and got the deep late manure in for the beans. And got some more stocks of manure to dig in…. Running very behind but making progress!

Getting ready for bamboo canes structures soon…

Met lots of neighbours, everybody is so nice and encouraging! Exciting times!