Friday, 1 March 2013

Vegetable graves

Last year I cleared two small beds on the other side of the house, which ended up looking like two large graves and I planted a few strawberries, 5 tomatoes, 2 courgettes, 3 peppers, 3 cucumbers and some salad bowl lettuce. I read somewhere that you could mulch strawberries with pine needles, they like acid soil, so we collected needles and they did help keep them moist and it also helped to keep the fruit clean.

I tried some runner beans and they flowered very freely but didn`t set beans, I think they were just too hot.The lettuce did very well and the early tomatoes were brilliant until Bonnie, our black labrador discovered she liked to pick them straight from the vine.
It was a very hot summer and the later tomatoes, greek beans and courgettes gave up very early and I started to clear the beds by August.

My landlord very kindly rotovated a larger area for me and I made ridged beds down the slope allowing drainage run offs for winter rains. I dug in manure and peat and started sowing for autumn and winter.
We also fenced the garden to keep off the dog and the landlord`s chickens.
I sowed spinach,lettuce , rocket and swede. I bought baby cabbage, broccolli and brussells sprout plants from Nikos, the very poorly stocked garden centre near us and I was away. The landlord gave me some tiny leek slips, which have done very well and I sowed broad beans and planted garlic in October. We have eaten from the garden all winter and the broad beans are just about to start now.

I found that the brussells sprouts don`t have the flavour of ones grown in UK and I am not sure I will grow them again, The swede are good and enable me to make pasties!
Last September Mark built me a large box which we filled with seived soil and peat and carrots have done pretty well in it.

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