I am almost there. There is only one bed left to sow. Everything else is planted and sown. All the beds are full and should be displaying a “No Vacancy” sign. Although most beds don’t look full as the seedlings are still quite small and are surrounded by a sea of soil. As a beginner gardener I would have taken care of this and crammed it so full you wouldn’t see any soil. But with the benefit of experience I know this is a bad idea as in the blink of an eye that soil will become unseen as the seedling grows to take its place and fills the bed with an abundance of greenery.
Some beds have deliberate empty spaces, so I can do succession planting. I just have to remember to sow the seeds when the time comes. The need for progressive planting came as a bit of a shock in my first garden. I really wanted to have peas to shell on Christmas day as I have fond memories of doing it with my grandfather as a child, so I planted my peas and waited for Christmas. Two weeks before, the peas finished and then there was nothing. I was so disappointed. Since then there has always been peas on Christmas day. You just gotta keep planting them – I found I can grow peas all year round if I choose the right kinds for the season.
The bed I need to do is the bean bed. I have just finished harvesting the broad beans and shelled 2.2 kilo but I really don’t know what to do with them as I am now firm in my decision that I don’t actually like them! I feel a little sorry for my family who I have been making eat them. How can I make my family eat something I don’t like? I think the kids will be pleased I’ll no longer be forcing broad beans upon them… that is unless I find a recipe that completely disguises the taste.
All I need to do now is dig up what remains of the broad beans, enrich the soil and sow the beans. We don’t really like beans all that much and it was my intention only to sow kidney beans so we can have chilli con carne all winter long, and one standard French green bean so we can have Niçoise Salad but somehow my bean seed collection grew and I have all these unusual heirloom ones and loads of different ones that have been given to me and it would be rude not to try them out. But I am procrastinating … something is preventing me from sowing them. They really aren’t my favourite thing to grow.
So instead I turned my attention to weeds. There were some beds that had gotten way out of control. The asparagus had become so weedy the spears were completely hidden and were coming up blanched! I had white asparagus – without doing anything at all! There were loads of weeds starting to make their presence felt in the beds I’d made for my currants, gooseberries and blueberries. I’d made raised beds for them to stop them drowning but also so it would be easier to keep on top of the weeds. But if you neglect them, the weeds will come – surprise, surprise!
Under a warm but cloudy sky I spent a satisfying day pulling weeds. I love how you can really see the difference, which in turn comes with a real sense of achievement. Unlike planting bean seeds – no instant gratification there. Then the asparagus and berries got a jolly good watering and a bit of a feed. However I’m not in a great hurry to repeat the day as my back is a little sore and my hands are a bit stiff from all the wrenching out of weeds, so my thoughts turned to mulch and what could I use. Then I remembered all the wheat I grew and hung it the shed to dry. Well it couldn’t get much drier and I covered the newly exposed soil and it looks fantastic. The asparagus is covered thick enough to hold off the weeds but loose enough for the spears to push through. I hope it works well as a mulch because I can’t wait to grow more for next year.
Come again soon – I think I’m getting the hang of this gardening thing.
Sarah the Gardener : o )