More from Mrs Grounded Gardener.........
Last Saturday, I awoke to a beautifully clear morning and an overwhelming urge to get out into our little garden “tout de suite”. It was time to get back to creating our very own masterpiece. After the never-ending rain of the past 6 weeks, it was finally a good day to get out there and tackle the overgrown raised veg plots we had inherited from the garden’s previous owners, in readiness for planting in the Spring. We have six raised boxes, four of which we intend to keep and grow vegetables in. The remaining two are to be dismantled in the Spring with a view to being replaced with a garden bench to catch the late evening sun.
Anyway, I found the necessary tools for the job in our gardening box: gardening gloves, small fork, trowel, garden waste bag and a bucket. Donned what have now become my “gardening jeans” (I truly never thought I’d own a gardening wardrobe having previously - incorrectly – stated gardening to be the dullest job in the world..how wrong I was), my trusty Barbour wellies, now with new wellie socks (a Christmas gift from ‘the parentage’) and other various warm/wet weather gear and headed outside to do battle.
En route to the veg plots, I was happy to spy the first shoots of our bulbs planted back in Nov, starting to appear (see below). Much excitement! Snow, frost and any other extreme weather conditions aside, we can hopefully look forward to plenty of daffodils, hyacinths, narcissi and tulips in a few weeks’ time. What a sight that will be.
I think these are our first daffs peeking through (above). Spring is coming!
Not sure what these are (above), possibly bluebells? Something we have inherited. Along with the weeds and ivy here that need to come out. A job for Spring.
Back to the veg plots. So, I spent a good few hours rooting around and digging out masses of old veg, decaying roots, strawberry plants (obviously now past their best and unlikely to bear fruit). The small fork provided the best leverage on stubborn weeds and roots. It felt great to get stuck in, to be working with the earth, outside in the cold winter sun, doing something GOOD. I spend a great deal of my time during the week under the harsh glare of a computer screen and office strip lighting. Being in touch with nature at the weekends is just the best antidote. And it counts as exercise, I’m sure of it!
The soil seems in good condition though curiously was liberally peppered with stones, small pieces of old tiles, small rocks. I have to admit to tossing these out behind the boxes as I came across them though I did wonder if they serve a purpose I am unaware of, possibly to provide drainage? Must read up on that J
The end result: 3 boxes cleared, 1 to go.
The tangled chaos of the strawberries will be tackled next weekend, weather permitting. We’re also hoping to spread some manure out on all 4 plots to start feeding the soil ready for planting in March. Again, I’ve often seen those signs by the side of the road ‘FREE MANURE’ and wondered ‘what on earth would anyone want with free manure?’ Now I know.
We’re big fans of beetroot so this is definitely in our top 5 veg to grow. Closely followed by potatoes (my husband is Irish, this is non-negotiable), squash, broccoli and cabbage. Kale may well make it in there, too if we have enough space. How much space does all this stuff take? Hmm… tbc.
Mrs Grounded Gardener