A fine day for plotting!
My husband went and strimmed off the weedy bank by the fence at the plot this morning and after that I went to sort out my new bed for the pumpkin. This is the spot directly beneath the huge beech tree. The soil has small roots from the tree right under the surface, and any attempt at digging is very hard work. The soil here is fertile.....growing copious amounts of nettles and comfrey.
I have wanted to tame the bank ever since I got the plot and having amassed a lot of compost and fibrous stuff I decided to use it as a sheet mulch, and make a huge bed for the pumpkin this year.
We had some cardboard from when we got our new settee from Ikea recently, so I covered an area of about 10 foot square. It looks smaller in the photo but it is 10 ft at least.
First I raked up all the grass he'd strimmed from around the plot. Then I barrowed the contents of one of the compost bays....fibrous stem stuff as well....and spread it about a
foot thick all over the cardboard. Then when my back had had enough I stood and watered it with a hose for half an hour to make sure it was good and wet. Tomorrow I'll put my little pumpkin plant in the middle of it....and watch it fill the space over the course of the summer. When it is in I will cover the mound with comfrey cuttings and other weed tops. This will form even more sheet compost and will also inhibit any weeds that may sprout on the heap.
Before I went home I picked a basket of broad beans, and started weeding one of the still untidy beds which are such a disgrace. The weeds resulting are now in the second compost bay which has now been started off. The first one now houses all the bags of manure I am keeping until Autumn.
In the back Kitchen Garden at home I planted out lots this afternoon. Tomatoes (large Italian beefsteak tom plants from a friend), cucumbers (Crystal Lemon), sweetcorn,
leeks, fennel, and Dwarf Runner Beans Hestia. The back garden in filling up at last and I feel much better about it all now. Tomorrow I have some more to do....netting against cats and birds, and other tidying up jobs.
On Tuesday on my trip to Kent I dropped in at Wisley as usual and visited the veg garden. It was interesting to see how far they are behind our gardens here on the Isle of Wight, and also to see how very patchy their germination was this year. Whole long rows of beetroot with some gaps in germination of at least a foot. I heartens me when I see that it isn't just me....although my beetroots seem to have all germinated....but they were so late going in..!