A number of things are beginning to come to light with regard to how we are progressing at the Hill – & having flicked back through the photos in an idle moment, one or two things have struck me:
First thought – paths:
Paths are important if we don’t want to b*gger up our soil structure – or have to wear Stout Boots every time we want to wander on to the plot.
I’ve bought 2 Weed Prevention Sheets from Tesco (1.5m by 10m of black plastic, in essence) for £2 each & I can cut the sheets into path sized strips (0.5m by 10m) and place them between each of the 4 plots, and have enough to split each plot lengthways again so that you can always reach the middle of a bed from a path.
The only disadvantage is that with north/south sowings, the centre path in each bed will bisect the row. Perhaps that’s ok though.
Second thought – plot A:
Approx one third of plot A (beans and peas) is taken up with the bear pit bean trench & if we grow runner beans on the whole lot, both us, our families, friends and anyone who knows us will all die of runner bean overload.
As the trench runs east-west, there will be a sunny side & a shady side – so I thought that we could grow runners, climbing French beans up a quarter of each side each & put the rest over to peas (which I prefer!). It will be interesting to see if there is a disadvantage for the shady side.
Next year I’d like to try an inverted wigwam of cans for the beans – you tie the opposing poles together so they pull on each other, and as the plants climb up the poles, the beans hang down for ease of picking – another Grapevine special!
Third thought – progress so far:
We’ve had charge of the plot for a quarter of the year! And to date we have:
- Got rid of a whole heap of annual weeds – main culprits are chickweed & nettles – & prepared for sowing.
- Got rid of half our grotty gooseberry bushes & half a row of huge beetroot & planted some fruit buses
- Sown a load of seeds which haven’t done anything yet – & at home those that have, are really leggy, except the pea sprouts which are looking FAB
- Made some Heath Robinson soil protectors because we (all right, I) have no patience to wait until spring to sow.
- Successfully transplanted garlic which seems to be growing nicely
- Learnt a whole heap from some really nice people – on line & at the Hill
That all sounds bit mixed – but, you know what? I wouldn't swap a minute of it!