Thursday, 10 April 2014

Potatoes planted, and other wonderful progress

Soil temperature in the first big raised bed is 8 degrees at one end and 9 degrees at the other, so three different varieties are now in the ground.

Maris Bard is a first early, supposedly ready in around 10 weeks.  That might give us a taste you just cannot buy in early June. International Kidney, which cannot be called Jersey Royal anywhere but the Channel Islands takes 13 - 20 weeks according to the RHS and Maris Peer, a second early, should harvest mid-late July. 

This year there is no room for a maincrop but I've got my sights set on Sarpo Mira for next season.



LP has been here for a couple of days (although he 'lost' four hours to rain this morning); he's very keen to crack on and make as much progress as possible so who I am to argue?  He levelled off the paths between beds in a couple of hours.  Even if I was physically capable of doing this I think it would have taken me an entire weekend and probably left me unable to walk for days.  The middle bed has been lined with DPC and we've added plastic conduit to support rebar so I can have hoops over the top.







In our usual "Making It Up As We Go" School of Garden Design, once we got to the top end it was obvious that a slope would not work and I suggested steps.  As I don't expect to need to move the wheelbarrow along this bit (the main paths are plenty wide enough) this is far easier to walk on and looks great.  It will look even better when we have three loads of bark chip delivered, but I'm not sure when that will be :{





Stage Left,  I took advantage of three large green dustbins, which the Council should empty tomorrow. 








24 comments:

  1. It's looking great - did you use Monty Don's soil temperature test?

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    1. Hello Sue. Absolutely not! I used a large thermometer :}

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  2. Those veg beds look great and are just what I need to work with. I don't bend as well these days with my back and am looking forward to seeing your haul of spuds. Sue, above mentions Monty Don and I'm a big fan with a few of his books and a couple of DVD's. I also like watching Gardener's World and seeing his garden. Take care.

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    1. Thanks Susan, the beds have already proved very easy to work on, I'm glad we made them this high.

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  3. Wow proper raised beds. Looking good. Anything going in alongside the potatoes as catch crop.

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    1. Martyn, I would love to maximise the space and put in a catch crop. But, as a complete novice when it comes to veggies I don't know what would work. Any suggestions would be very welcome :}

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  4. Dead impressed. I'd better get out and plant mine tomorrow now.

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    1. Don't take my word for it Jessica, I've probably put them in far too early :{

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  5. Your garden and beds are seriously impressive. Mine are a mess, LOL. Can't wait to get warm weather seeds in the ground.

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    1. Cheers Leigh, don't be too envious, it will take me no time at all to make a thorough mess of the area!

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  6. I thought you'd been very quiet, now I can see why. Lots of yummy fresh potatoes to look forward to and who knows what else in the future.

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    1. Sue my love, I intended to phone you every day this week - and by the time I remembered each evening I was too tired to pick myself up, let alone pick up the phone and have a sensible conversation. Sorry :{

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  7. Nothing like a crisp, freshly dug spud! Those who've never tasted fresh have no idea how good they are. Bit of a warm up right now, but snow forecasted for Tuesday. The winter continues to thrash about. Ask LP if he'd like a visit to the states??? ;-D

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    1. You're absolutely right Kris. The first plant gets dug once water is already on the boil, the potatoes are served with nothing but a generous slathering of butter .... oh, and you've got to sit outside to eat them!

      I wish I could find you an "LP" near to home :}

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I must confess I keep pinching myself in slight disbelief .... all this loveliness in MY garden :} After years of disorder it seems very strange.

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  9. wow, are those your raised beds? serious raised bed envy :) we built three on our gravel driveway when we moved into our house a few years ago. been fab, but constantly at war with slugs and snails... and cats who seem to think they make great litter trays!

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    1. Cheers Mim, I am an incredibly lucky girl, yes?

      Using a gravel drive for raised beds is a brilliant idea - guaranteed good drainage.

      We had the 'cats thinking the garden was their toilet' problem until Daisy arrived. Funnily enough, it has been quite some time since I had to pick cat sh*t off the cottage garden lawn.

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  10. Your raised beds look fab, and I love the steps you've made too, they'll be great when the bark is put down. I'm growing some spuds in the ground this year as well as containers, I'm already anticipating the first harvest, cooked to perfection and smothered in butter.

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    1. Thanks Jo, just waiting now for the bark chip. Can you put some of your potato pots in the greenhouse to get an even earlier crop?

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  11. Jayne - I love those raised bed boxes. Do they come lined, or do you have to line them?

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    1. Morning Dani, we line the inside of the beds with the thick plastic that is used for making the damp-proof membrane when building houses. I guess you could use any thick plastic, I know someone who cut up empty compost bags and recycled them.

      We do it more to keep the soil off the boards (and therefore prolong their life, it's very wet here!) than to stop any wood treatments leaching into our food-growing soil.

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}