Progress is slowly, slowly being made on the veg patch. The green area is now getting smaller, even if it is getting lusher, we are edging closer to the tree which we pruned right back last autumn / winter, and now trip over the remnant of, every time we take a rock to the pile (we’re well on the way with the fourth, or maybe fifth, pile now) and I am starting believe that we really will get it finished afterall. Once it is done though I still need to get around to planning where everything is going to be planted and J needs to get a new switch on the rotavator, so when it is all finally done he can turn the soil again, and hopefully get some manure into it too. I’ve decided that it isn’t going to be the best quality soil; I’m wholly basing this on our flower bed, where the soil seems to dry out pretty quickly, and isn’t a nice rich brown but more a ‘meh’ beigey brown- the snake head fritillary already looks like a lost cause.
To salvage the flowerbed, we’ve spent today applying mulch in the rain, unfortunately as I’m a mulch novice I thought 210 litres would be plenty to cover the bed, it sounds like quite a bit, unfortunately it hasn’t gone that far, but we have got some around all the plants with bare patches inbetween.
Back to the shops next week for more I think. The mulch should help to retain moisture, and also I’m hoping that when it rots down, it will help enrich the soil. I should probably have done this sooner really, maybe in time to save the fritillary, but I’ve never had a flowerbed before, so it’s all been a bit suck it and see. I’ll know better next year – though maybe if I can get the soil sorted this year, and manure on it over winter, it may not be as bad by next year. Maybe.
The seedlings are all looking good, with the exception of the tomatoes, with which I have admitted defeat and will be buying some from a garden centre. The other seedlings are all scarily starting to look like they could do with a new home soon, especially the broad beans which seem to be flying along, I’ve already got another sowing of them in and I’ve also now sown peas and runner beans. I’ve always had decent success with both of these, and, like the broad beans, they usually come on pretty quickly, so I definitely need to get my finger out and get the patch finished off, unless I want to lose lots of seedlings.
I’ve also sown some carrots into a large tub outside (given the amount of rocks in the patch, I decided tub grown carrots would be better, unless I just wanted comedy carrots), now the chickens have their freedom though, I’m going to have to keep a close eye on these, as after near five months of incarceration, anything even vaguely green seems to be fair game for the chickens.
Oh, and it also turns out we have a dock green beetle colony in the garden, all the dock leaves are covered in little yellow eggs (well, they were before J mowed the lawn) and lots of amorous beetles.
The rhubarb was also host to eggs, before I cleared them all off, only to check again yesterday and another beetle was there along with another clutch of eggs, though not for long.
I mentioned a while ago, a large oval stone which we pulled out of the soil which we have earmarked as a seat, I’ve been known to rest my weary bones on it now and again, and just sit and appreciate the real joy of being in the garden. Just stopping, and looking about me, not worrying about the chickens pulling everything up, the kids screaming at each other, or the bugs eating all my rhubarb, but watching the birds soar overhead, listening to their song, the tractors humming in the distance, and realising that this really is our life, and how very, very lucky we are to be living it here.