Veggie Heaven June 15, 2016 07:28
It is a momentous week in this house. There is a mystical sense of disbelief in the air. A new dawn. Because our new little veggie plot has hit it's stride and is now starting to produce the goods... HURRAH!
If you are planning on venturing into 'Grow your own' this summer, let's compare notes. Here is how we made ours and where we are up to...
1. Site Improvement
I visited the lovely Vinnie and Doug at a nearby builders yard, who sold me 16 5ft scaffold boards for about £40. After a little jiggery pokery with a saw, a few nails and some 'L' shaped braces to help them keep shape, we had four very cost effective, square beds. Perfect. I painted mine, inside and out, not just for aesthetics but to also protect the wood for as long as poss. Once in position, the shingle was removed from inside the 'bed' and ground was dug over. Lots of horsey poo went into the mix and then it was all topped off with reclaimed soil we had left over.
It sounds a little obvious, but I've only planted things we like to eat. So for us that includes tomatoes, lettuce, asparagus, pak choi, runner beans, pumpkins and potatoes. Some, like the lettuce, offer an almost immediate return and will be replaced with new seedlings over the coming weeks. Others, like the asparagus, are a longer term investment. So I've allocated a bed for the quickies and another for the keepers. Amongst our veggies are nasturtiums, marigolds and chives to help keep the bugs and beasties off the crops; along with geums and sweet peas just because they look fab and I love them. Most of these flowers can also be eaten, and I'll be trying out a few recipes thanks to the fab new book from Lia Leendertz. While I've planted things in 'formation'; trying to keep a pattern going in each bed, I like the idea of flowers and foliage overspilling and trailing around the edges. The shingle has been reused to form paths around each bed. This makes it really easy to weed and look after each bed.
Watering hasn't been too much of an issue, given all the rain we have had. However, weeds are loving the new soil. Luckily, we've had some really nice sunshine of an evening, so it's been quite a pleasant job to potter about removing the weeds with a glass of wine v. close by. Other than that, it's been fairly plain sailing. Pinching out the tomatoes and providing them with a little more support has been the only other job to do.
And there we have it. Food from the front garden. Good looking, low maintenance and available 24/7. Best offer I've had all year!