Gardening progress…

…And so we begin again! Regular readers (ha!) will remember from the end of last year that we did a lot of clearing and preparation of beds so that this year we can veggie-palooza. Above is the “before” pano, showing the state of things after the winter. This is before anything has been done other than picking up litter and straightening out the black covers on the large bed. The covers have either been blown to shreds by the wind, or have been picked at by rodents or similar for nesting materials. There’s at least on area that’s been comprehensively shredded so that it would form a highly attractive fringe on an item of long-sleeved leather attire, which makes me very dubious that it could have been done by just the wind…

Last weekend we cranked back up on the effort, and did planting and made new beds. In the existing bed we have, left to right: parsnips, beetroot, carrots, chard, spinach, lettuce and peas.

While I was planting these, Steve and Lily laid out and soiled(!) three new cardboard-based beds with woodchip paths between… I hereby acknowledge the sterling support given by my work colleagues in the form of large cardboard boxes – consumerism *can* support sustainable gardening, it turns out 😀

In the new beds we have garlic, shallots and three different kinds of potatoes. These fill 1 1/3 of the beds, the rest being left available for the many seeds we planted the next day…

So far, the thing I’m loving about this no-dig method is …the lack of digging. In previous years this weekend would have comprised at least a day’s worth of digging weeds out of the “old” bed and a similar amount of time looking disconsolately at the other old bed thinking “well, I can dig it out but it will probably be covered over with weeds again before I can dig out the vegetables I’m trying to grow. Before I did the planting this weekend, I pulled out maybe 5-6 weeds from the old bed. And that was all of them. This makes me happy.