October 31, 2018

October 31, 2018   A good day at the office.

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Today,  I filled the fourth bed, mulch and full planting. An excellent day, with sunshine enough to bring relief from the chill.


Step 1 – A couple of inches of homemade compost, over a cardboard underlay. This was poor quality, lumpy compost, with plenty of woody fragments, but it’s good enough for a basis. It’ll rot in time, adding fertility for years to come.

Step 2 – A similar level of commercial compost gives a good planting surface, not quite as deep as I would have liked, but good enough.

I firmed the compost by walking over it. This isn’t something I have done before, but I see that Charles Dowding now recommends this. The suggestion is that firm compost gives a better rooting surface than light, airy compost. I’ll see how it compares.

As you can see, there’s room for two more inches of compost here, but it’s all I have, and I’ll add more next year.

Step 3 – I laid in a row of Red Currant cuttings, in the hope that I’ll have beds to spare by the time they are ready for transplanting. (Eight across the four foot bed.)

Step 4 – A double row of Broad Bean (Aquadulce Claudia) that I had sown in pots. Spacing, 9″ between plants and between each pair of rows, so 10 plants in each double, staggered.

Step 5 – Black Currant cuttings. See note on Red Currant Cuttings.

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Step 6 – Another double row of Broad Beans.

Step 7 – Two rows of Hazel cuttings, prepared as for the currants.

Step 8 – Another double row of Broad Beans.

Step 9 – Three rows of multisown onions (Hylander F1), at 6″ spacing, giving about 24 clumps with an average of 4-5 seedlings per clump. These were sown in small modules, about 1.5 cm across, on 24 September. Because of the poor quality of the modules, and the soggy nature of the compost – a lesson learned, onion seedlings don’t need much water – I damaged some roots and stems extracting these. I hope I haven’t harmed them greatly, but we’ll see.

Again, this is a technique I haven’t tried before, and I’m curious to see how it works. If successful, it will save considerable space on my valuable raised beds.

I hope to start adding technical details of my growing methods over the winter period, when the demands of the garden are less arduous. Multisowing will be one of my first entries.

And finally:

Step 10 – A fourth double row of Broad Beans.

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A busy day, but rewarding.