Monday, November 05, 2012

Preparing the vegetable beds for winter

There is a break in the weather and although still cool out of the sun and in the evening, the rain has stopped and the wind is helping dry out the soil and garden. It is an ideal time to clear the vegetable beds as they come to the end of their producing cycle.

After a very productive year in the vegetable garden, it is time to give the empty beds a little tender loving care. The bed we concentrated on today had grown: beans; courgettes; marrows; radish; parsnips; carrot; beetroot; herbs; squash...It had produced well and now needed attention.

The old plants were removed and composted. We have two main general compost bins which in turn will be allowed to break down and then dug back into the beds. The fuller bin will be ready for using in a few weeks time before we plant potatoes and onions. We never have enough compost so we compost everything we possibly can.

Luis added more sandy top soil to the bed and dug it over lightly. The addition of the new soil has really helped break-down the heavy clay and it is much more manageable. Oats were then scattered and then raked in. The oats will grow over the next three months then they will be dug back into the soil as a green manure. The cats also love to eat the fresh green shoots of oats so they will be pleased.

If we manage to source any manure, that will also be added to the bed.

Elsewhere in the garden we are continuing to clear the leaves, tidy up for winter and we have begun to survey and prioritise the building work we are yet to do but hope to start soon. We have had a leak in the newly built garden tap so that has had to be partially demolished, repaired and is awaiting re-build.
Wentworth and Gawber are out more during the day, hunting land voles in nearby meadows and generally enjoying the warming rays of the sun.

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