The Under Gardener.

Rolo

Introducing my Under Gardener, Rolo. He’s constantly by my side in the garden, whatever the weather. My faithful companion. His talents are endless, digging holes with his mouth in the new raised beds, and then wiping his beard clean on the sitting room carpet! Standing in the way of my wheel barrow path or prancing about destroying a plastic flower pot he’s so proudly purloined. I would achieve a lot more in a day if were not for him, but it would be a lot less fun!

The plan and raised beds

Kitchen garden plan Jan'15

The plan (sketch) from Jan ’15. This is the theory, it will be interesting to see how much I alter from it a year down the line!

Kitchen garden 'before'

Before.

Veg beds 1-5

Veg beds 1-5. Stage one complete!

I started mulling over plans for my kitchen garden between Christmas and New Year (a luxurious period where no jobs need to be done, just relaxing with the family, slowing down and having time to think!). I was keen to have raised beds for the vegtables and annual cut flowers. Past experience of weeds jumping from grass paths to veg beds, then replacing grass paths with wood chip, leaving me trying to keep the edges tidy, firmly steered my plans in the direction of raised beds. Keeping them them at a 1.4m width means they can be reached accross easily from each side, never needing to tread on and compact the soil. Raised beds are an easy contained area to give a quick hoe once a week preventing weeds, they look tidy and easily designate different growing zones, aiding crop rotation. The theory sounds fabulous, lets see how they work in practice over the next year. Stage one of the plan (building and filling veg beds 1-5) has been accomplished and I have already planted garlic and broadbeans in the first bed.

Stage two is digging out the existing soil in the greenhouse (just in case it carries blight) and replacing it with fresh enriched top soil from elsewhere in the garden. I plan to plant tomatoes and cucumbers in there this spring. More on this project soon.