Friday, 13 March 2009

Winter Vegetable Bed

This bed needed digging over really badly. It had a good layer of mulch on it, but when I scraped that off and checked the soil, there wasn't much goodness there. The friable soil only went about 3-5cm deep. As soon as I started digging, I knew this was a big job. One big rock after another was unearthed. One whole wheelbarrow full (!!!) of stones later, I was knackered. There were rocks the size of a 3kg water melon. I am still not sure how that happened. It was a no-dig bed made several years earlier, and I am sure I didn't spread all the layers on a bed of rocks. So where did they come from? The other gnome suggested it was the rock fairy. So far this is the likeliest explanation.

Anyway, after a good feeding of lime, blood & bone, and some fertiliser it looked quite good.

Then I could finally sow the seeds I had wanted to sow many hours earlier. A big section of White Pearl Onions (hopefully enough to give us a few little jars of pickled onions later in the year), a small section of spring onions, the biggest section is for Purple Dragon Carrots, and then another section with White Mustard. Hopefully we'll be eating home-made mustard one day.

While I was sowing all this I noticed tons of little birds flitting about and I am sure they were planning a seedy feast as soon as I turned my back. So I decided to cut up some unused sections of irrigation pipe and stick that into the bed to make hoops. Cut up some bird netting to spread over it. Well, that should also keep out stray chooks, neighbour's cats, ducks, etc.

My plan is to do the same netting over the brassica bed that is yet to be planted. That should keep out the Cabbage Moth and thus prevent all these caterpillars eating our cabbages, etc.

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