I thought potatoes would probably be the first things to be planted at my new plot, but I was wrong - it was Broad Beans. Having assessed that the spare plants I had were not going to be needed in my own garden, I decided to take them up to the Courtmoor plot and put them in there. It was a small gesture (only 8 plants), but it was a significant moment for me!
I used some of the prunings from the Apple trees as stakes for the beans, and tied them in loosely with some soft string. The sticks are about 4 feet tall.
I have been trying to envisage what the plot will look like when it is fully populated, and today I used a couple of pieces of wood to help me work out how many rows I'll be able to have. My next job is going to be planting potatoes (honest!), so some more spadework will be required. I'm going to make three low ridges for the potatoes, with "gullies" in between, up which I will be able to walk.
Each row will be roughly 5 metres long, and I plan to plant 10 seed potato tubers in each. I'm hoping to be able to plant them at my next visit to the plot - sometime next week - because they are looking ready to go. They have been chitting on the windowsill of a cool spare bedroom:
The chits look really good - short, dark and strong-looking.
I have also finished weeding and pruning the Raspberries now:
When I get the opportunity I am going to put down a mulch of partially-rotted compost along the rows of canes. This will hopefully help to suppress the weeds and keep the roots of the canes cool.
Very nice article and great pictures, thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I'm going to enjoy watching you garden in a traditional garden plot as well as raised beds and pots. It's the same and it's different. There is a certain freedom about it since beds are so structured. Raised beds with their perfect soil and tidy paths are just not the same as kneeling in deep rich dark earth. It brings out the farmer in me.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean! This is why I have sort-of enjoyed all the digging.Delete
I help out at a school garden and find that home/allotment plants I have left over often fit right in with the school garden plan. Those leftover potatoes, brassicas, parsnip seeds, onion sets all come in handy for filling out the school beds without incurring any extra cost! I don't know anyone who is easy about composting perfectly good plants just because they have filled up the space allotted!ReplyDelete
I'm planting broad (fava) beans this year for the first time. Do they require staking? I'm a newbie with these plants and direct sowed them in an old horse trough that we've filled with a good soil and organic amendments. I only had 8 seeds, do you think they will need staking?ReplyDelete
Hi Patricia; Yes, I think they will need staking. They usually grow to over 4 feet tall and can be quite floppy. If you have lots of them they can provide each other a bit of mutual support, but with only 8 I think stakes will be necessary.Delete
Thanks, Mark. The first one emerged from the soil today! Excited!Delete
We never stake ours but in the plot they don't have to look as tidy.Delete
If you don't want to hurt your back, plant the potatoes with a hand trowel. We always do now. They are then earthed up using a claw hoe. If you don't want to compact the soil too much you can walk on a plank of wood. Good luck.ReplyDelete
I think you'll be surprised at how wide those 'gullies' will need to be to be able to easily walk up them once the potato plants get into their stride. It can be difficult to access in between rows spaced 3ft apart as the plants will send shoots out of the sides of the ridges and it does become quite a jungle.ReplyDelete
Yes, I guess that's something I'll learn through experience. I am copying my Dad's plot - he was a specialist in getting the maximum yield from a small space.Delete