I spent Saturday afternoon trying to finish the border around my latest veggie garden. We harvested the last of the butternut pumpkins the week before and I have enclosed the area where they grew with grey concrete blocks to match two previously created gardens.
Demonstrating my usual DIY aptitude, I built a low, crooked retaining wall. Hopefully next weekend I can correct the mistakes I made and straighten it up. I think the extent of the crookedness is emphasised because the garden is in direct line-of-sight from the back door.
Taking the photo at night helps to hide the shoddiness of my work.
At least now, through trial and (multiple) error, I have a clearer idea of how to do the job right and can hopefully improve the appearance.
I’ll probably make this new garden into a no-dig area, building up various layers of organic materials which will hopefully break down into a reasonable quality soil. The first layer will be a combination of chopped up pumpkin plant and part-ready compost. On top of this I’ll start with layers of newspaper, composted cow manure and straw. Time will tell how successful this approach will be and how long it will take before it’s ready for use.
The beds I created earlier (the borders of which also need a bit of maintenance) seem to be going well. The first was started with beetroot, pak choy, snow peas, and sugar snaps. I also used an area close to the back to plant some excess Russian garlic cloves and the last of a packet of radish seeds. The radishes were picked and eaten over the weekend.
One row of beetroot looks like being the best I’ve grown, but the second row is too close to the pak choy and is being overwhelmed by pak choy leaves.
The snow peas look very healthy but aren’t yet producing many pods. The sugar snaps are a total disappointment, and have barely grown more than 6 inches. I’ve never had much luck with Sugar snaps.
In the other bed we had a very good crop of beans (as mentioned previously) and I’ve now reclaimed part of the bed to grow broccoli. After an initial caterpillar attack the plants are now growing well. A couple of applications of derris dust seem to have solved the problem.
Immediately behind the broccoli I sowed two rows of mini-turnip seeds. On Saturday I saw the first signs of germination, so they seem to be going well. The Kohlrabi seeds I sowed into punnets at the same time aren’t yet showing the same promise.
Sometime soon I’ll have to find somewhere to plant out the two types of onions that are now ready in punnets. I have a lot more onion seed to sow including a new packet of Barletta that I recently received from the Digger’s Club. We had a lot of success with onions last year, especially with Barletta. Unfortunately onions take so long to mature that they tie up an area of garden for several months. Successful management of garden space is not one of my strong points so slow maturing things like onions and garlic can be a problem in making the best practical use of my garden.