Friday, February 6, 2015

Preparation for the new season.

Last year we decided to cut down on the quantity of vegetables that we grow, there are only two of us and we do not need beds sixteen feet long, eight feet is plenty, but what we did need was for the beds to be higher than ten inch , so the vegetable garden is undergoing a make over.
We now have five raised  beds and one more to go, eight foot by three foot six and twenty inches high. With pathways wide enough to get the wheel barrow between with ease.
Just one more bed to go.
This should make life easier and will certainly help our backs, I should even be able to sit on the edge of the beds for weeding. We still have two long beds, one is the asparagus bed, the other was last years root veg, this will be planted with peas and beans which will help to fix the nitrogen in the soil, the following year it will be planted with leafy things such as spinach and chard. We will still have to do some growing on the flat, potatoes, which need a lot of space and some of the brassicas, which don't like a light and free draining soil.
The broad beans which were planted in the root trainers two weeks ago have now all germinated,  our own seed saved from last year, these will get planted out in March, possible covered with crop cover depending on what the weather is doing. This time next month seed sowing will be in full swing, where did the winter go?
The rhubarb is looking good.
The rhubarb is coming on well we should have our first picking at the start of March, again this depends on what the weather does.
We always look forward to the first of the rhubarb, a real sign that the new season has started.
One thing we are never short of is fresh veg,
Leeks, swede and parsley.
we still have plenty of leeks, swede, beetroot, parsnips, turnip, artichokes, herbs and some cabbages as well,
1st of the purple sprouting broccoli.
the Brussels sprouts should last out until the end of the month and the purple sprouting broccoli has  formed it's flower heads, the Swiss chard is starting to show  new growth.  We  also have curly kale growing but this has rather been overshadowed by the sprouting broccoli, you can't win them all.  We should last out with the onions ,
Sarpo Mira.
we have plenty of potatoes but a shortage of carrots, we lost one entire bed to mice so will have to buy some before the new seasons are ready.
Winter flowers are now starting to bloom, the first of the Helleborus is about to burst out,
I think this one is Helleborus Orientalis, it's very pretty when it's fully out.
Snowdrops are growing all over, even in places that I don't remember planting them, it must have  been the fairies.
Tommy trying to control Meg.
Meg the puppy is now a fully integrated member of the family but shows little respect to any of the cats or even Tess.
The face off.
Tommy our eldest cat tries to control her
she has now found out that cat claws can hurt. Tess today however had had enough, the pup would give her no peace, Tess's solution? Pick up Meg by the scruff of the neck and dump her into her bed. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera at the ready so missed the shot, maybe next time.


  1. I like your raised beds. Managed to dig some of our veg plot over yesterday with my four prong pike and I am busy making a large compost heap.

    1. We have gone for proper raised beds so we will have no more digging to do except for the potatoes. The bed sides are old scaffold boards which we can get quite cheaply here. We still have one big compost bin about 4x4x4 so hopefully we have enough compost to last a while, the new bin has already been started.

  2. Your PSB is way ahead of ours (as ever!)

    1. When did you plant yours Matt? Ours have been in since last July.

  3. It would have been June-July time but I know there are varieties for all crop times through from early Dec to March, so I've probably got hold of a later cropping type. No bother - we will just enjoy them in Feb/March. PSB is something I am going to grow more of this year in the spaces freed up by things we are not growing - like you, we are always changing our 'range'. It's all part of the fun and interest.

  4. Anne
    SOunds like a great plan for the garden. That Meg so frisky, I am glad that Tess stood up for herself she is such a love. Would have loved to have seen that picture. More snow here, winter will not let up its grip.

  5. We both felt that we need to make the garden as easy to work as possible Carole, the beauty of raised beds is the no did and they are easy to put cloches over so crops can be protected. Meg is full of energy, she's hard to tire out. Our winter has been mild again, a little snow but not much we used to have far more in Spain.

  6. The raised beds look great and will be much easier to manage - a good size, I sometimes think ours could have been smaller.

  7. Length doesn't matter but the width does, it seems silly to get soil into good heart and then have to stand on it, or to have to stretch to get to the centre of a bed.

  8. Ah, those are great photos of Meg and Tommy! Lovely! Beds look great too x