Saturday, March 3, 2012

Installing the raised beds

Time to install the beds. We bought the flat packs from Hambrooks in Titchfield and hubby and son assembled them - with hardly any swearing! The layout was based on the main paths being 70cm wide and parallel to the house.

Next comes the digging...

 Seeing as this bit of garden has been lawn for so long I thought it best to dig it over before adding new soil. I never thought I'd double dig, but it turns out it's not so bad after all. I even managed to persuade Joel (my 12 year old) to help on his inset day. And of course we were soon joined by a friendly robin and his friends.

The end of a  hard day digging, but then the idea of raised beds is that this should be once only event!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where to start?

I've wanted to grow my own vegetables for many years and made mediocre attempts in pots and grow bags on the patio. Our back garden doesn't lend itself easily to cultivation, being like a bog for quite a lot of the year and full of big cracks in the clay during the summer.

Some time last year I was looking with despair at the poor state of the grass in front of the house when the idea struck me - I could dig up the grass and put in some raised beds to make my longed for veg plot! And hey, if it turns out I'm rubbish at veg, I can easily lay some turf and still end up with a better looking garden than before.

So, last Autumn I started work with the intention of getting some raised beds in place so that the Winter weather could do all the hard work of breaking down the soil. Best laid plans eh? Having invested in some fairly heavy duty weed-killer I successfully killed the grass and weeds, leaving a brown mess to be colonised by moss. Inevitably, other things got in the way (my son's birthday, Christmas etc) and it wasn't until February that I got my act together.

Having spent a long time trying to source cheap scaffold boards (I'm told they make excellent raised beds) we realised they wouldn't fit in the car and plumped for flat pack kits. This has actually worked out just as cheap, although a bit shallower than I'd originally planned. I spent far too long playing with alternative layouts on Sketch-Up but eventually came up with a plan that I'm really pleased with. I'll post some photos when I've worked out how to!

That's the background. It seems that all the best gardeners make copious notes about what they planted, where and when. And that's where I'm hoping this blog will take me...