As the weather forecast for this weekend was looking good the plan was to make a start with the vegetable garden.
After pondering about what we needed and where everything needed to go we finally came up with a rough plan. The fruit trees and strawberry bed are already in place so we decided to use these as a starting point. After jotting down a list of everything that we wanted to include this was the rough idea of what we were working towards.
Our main considerations for the vegetable garden are:
- Enough room to grow a good variety of fruit and vegetables. We have opted for a four bed rotation system plus beds for perennial crops (strawberries, asparagus and artichokes). In addition extra beds have been included for salad and seasonal crops.
- A long bed along the length of the plot against the fence will allow us to grow a variety of soft fruit. We will most likely have to cage/net this at some point .
- Storage and potting sheds – at present we have an old inherited shed which is used for storage of garden tools etc. This however has been patched and repaired within an inch of its life and it would be better if replaced in this part of the garden.
- Chickens – The jury is still out here! We would love to keep hens however we also like to travel and I already feel guilty about asking family to call and feed our cat while we are away. The room has been left for a hen-house and large run while we think about this.
So, with this plan in mind on Saturday morning our first job of the day was to take a trip to the local timber yard to pick up the materials for the raised beds. We have opted for raised beds as the soil in this area of the garden is heavy clay. By moving some of the loamy soil where the orchard is to be planted we will have plenty to fill the raised beds and hopefully give our plants a good start.
We opted for 6 x 2 inch untreated timber to make the beds out of. Our previous beds have been made out of 1 inch thick untreated timber and whilst they are still going strong 5 years later by using 2 inch thick timber we hope to get longer still out of these beds.
Whilst clearing the ground we were joined by a few of the locals!
By the end of the day we had made quite a bit of progress however there is still some way to go…..
The jobs still to do are:
Finish the raised beds
Erect a fence to the field side of garden
Level and lay the paths
Build the compost bins
Put down bases for potting shed and storage shed
Build the sheds
Plant and sow the vegetables!