Sunday, March 30, 2008

Veg plot - day 9, where things really start moving

We couldn't have asked for better weather today - it's been really warm, gorgeous blue sky, and birds singing away like mad. My face has actually tanned a little which is annoying because now I'm pink, but much better than being soaked to the skin like yesterday.

Michael shovelling the last few bits of topsoil. Well, at least the soil for this bed anyway. There's still a ton and a half on the drive. But...

Bed #1 is finished!!

Well, except that we need another bag of compost.

Frame is done, all the topsoil's in there, and a layer of compost on top. And we've used string to mark it out into square feet, leaving narrow strips between the three sections of the bed where I'll grow herbs and companion plants to attract beneficial insects and deter the nasty ones, and generally help the plants grow better.

The bricks are there to hold the compost in, and will be moved as soon as the beds get filled completely. I'm not adding compost to the potato section (the end furthest away) now, I'll use that compost to earth up the plants as they grow. And I know that the bed isn't square, but I don't much care, especially as the ground isn't level anyway. It looks, er, rustic!

I'm now desperate to get some seeds sown in it... perhaps not desperate enough to get up early, but I'm looking forward to getting out there.

Oh I forgot to mention that yesterday we had a couple of helpers. A pair of magpies were wandering around the bed while we were inside drilling, I thought at first they were looking for insects but once I got the binoculars on them I realised that they were collecting weed roots from the soil! Must have been nest-building. Now mags get a bad press, because of silly superstitions and ideas about them being unlucky (obviously not) and stealing shiny things (maybe) and being responsible for the decline in songbird numbers (definitely not, blame pesticides and habitat loss and monoculture), but I've never heard of them gardening! Have to say I do like them, very attractive birds even if they do have a horrible voice.

Anyway, I think that having a project agrees with me, because I've felt pretty good the last week or so, despite not sleeping well. Tonight I'm really tired because we've worked hard today - arms and legs and back and shoulders are all a bit achy, but strangely not in a bad way. Just in an exercised kind of way. I can live with that.


  1. It looks fantastic Anna, made me feel exhausted just reading it! It will be worth all the hard work when you start eating your own veggies. :)

  2. I don't think it looks rustic at all - quite polished, actually! Will you put seeds directly in, or will you sprout them indoors and transplant?

  3. I like magpies because even though they have err...non-traditional singing voices, they still have a go.

  4. Wow! Your raised beds look much more businesslike than mine! We're well behind. Last weekend we were singing in Bury St Edmunds cathedral, so no gardening at all, and this coming one we're in St Albans Abbey, so ditto. I might have to get out there one evening after work, now the clocks have gone forward.

  5. Congratulations, you've done a smashing job of it. You've given me ideas now, lol. I'm going to make a raised bed for some veggies.