Monday, 31 March 2008

Sunny Sunday

Wow yesterday was like the first proper day of spring!

I had a great day in the garden, managed to get loads done, mostly stuff that has been put off up till now due to the weather.
I planted the cute little blueberry bush that I brought on Saturday from Widcome Garden Center, its a 'Bluecrop' variety that's should fruit around June and is pretty hardy so should be ok over winter, this is down the bottom of the garden with the other fruit trees.

Then I managed to get 2 rows of my Desiree potatoes in, as they've been sprouting like crazy they should be off and running now there in, I'm going to stagger the planting of the Maris Pipers by a month or so, last year I bunged them all in at once then we ended up with more potatoes they we could cope with come the summer!

Next on the list was getting the peas in the ground, I started them off in the green house nearly 2 months ago in newspaper pots, they were getting a bit strapped for root space so have been waiting for a dry enough day to plant for 3 weeks now!
The Pea Bed (as it will now be called!) has had a lot of organic matter dug into it to improve the soil quality, mostly out of the compost bin, but also several bags of mushroom compost too, helpfully provided in £1 sacks by our local independent garden center Gardenalia (incidentally, this is a BRILLIANT garden shop, if your in the area check it out!).

As our garden is on a south facing slope and is very well drained we do have a slight problem with plants drying out in the summer, the year before last most of our peas suffered from dehydration, last year I tried an idea I had read about somewhere, I buried a layer of corrugated cardboard about 2 feet below where the peas were going, to act as a sponge layer, retaining water that their roots could tap into. This should have worked in theory, but as last summer was the wettest one for about 30 years I have know idea whether it would have helped or not? Anyway I have decided to give it another try this year (plus we have a load of cardboard packaging from our new log burner that needs using up)

Here's me putting together our cane A frame, all looking surprisingly neat!

Just a quick note about watering in our garden, we only use the water from our 4 water-butts and our pond, we have never used mains water, ever. We are very luck to be able to have as many water-butts as we do but anything planted in our garden is expected to toughen up and fend for itself, I generally water stuff when its fresh in the ground but this is fazed out as the plants get bigger, till we are only watering in the late evenings on the very hottest summer days.
Having good soil that retains the water well helps but I have found that most of the stuff we plant copes pretty well with this level of neglect, the same generally goes for the flowers too, I try to buy stuff that will cope with dry conditions and little water, consequentially we have quite a lot of lavender around the place (plus it's one of my favorite plants, so that works out ok).

And what did Rich do while I was slaving away on the veg patch, he cleaned my car the little star! using water from the water-butts of course!


Paul and Melanie said...

That pea support thingy looks fantastic! I'm going to try a chicken wite 'wall' kind of thing later this week but it won't look quite as artistic as your cane arrangement! ;)

Kat said...

Cheers, I cheated by using Wilkinson's willow trellis, only £2.99 a length, bargain!