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New growth

May 20, 2020
By

My garden has gone through a couple of years of neglect. This started with a year where I did very little, then when faced with the work needed to bring it all back, simply procrastinated.

Broad Beans

Broad Beans

In November last year, I hired a couple of guys to get the garden back in shape, as I felt it was too much for me alone. It started off well, they did a great job of weeding the gravel areas and cutting back my overgrown pear tree. But then they decided that my veg troughs needed the soil replacing with new; and having agreed this, proceeded to wheelbarrow earth from their van parked out the front to the back garden. This wasn’t the garden centre bags of soil we’d agreed I’d pay for, it was a mound of earth in the back of the van.

Of course, it wasn’t purchased, it was just earth they had dug out from another job. Too late, I realised it was mostly clay, and fairly unsuitable for the task at hand. With the season’s rain, it formed a solid lump in all 4 vegetable troughs. I never did pay them for “the soil” and I don’t think they were surprised.

This led me to once more abandon the garden again until the new year, it was just too depressing. But in February, I started digging it over, adding clay treatment, and mixing in more compost and soil. The clay is actually good in that it is full of nutrients, it just needed to be broken up into something resembling earth. But when I started this process, I wondered whether it would be successful, or whether I would simply have to empty the troughs and refill them again, with decent earth.

Courgette

Courgette

Anyway, by Spring, I had two troughs prepared, and I planted some seed.

Today, I saw my first new growth – broad beans and courgettes. It sounds daft, but just seeing these leaves poking through the earth has cheered me up no end. Anything is possible, and I can control my garden.

Then the third trough. At the end of my garden I had half a dozen plastic planters, long since overgrown by weeds. They each got emptied out onto the trough, and then I sorted through picking out the weeds. As a result, that trough now has a healthy 4-5 inches of good soil, which I am digging into the clay. It is looking good, and I plan to do the fourth trough this weekend, with either compost or soil, if I can get hold of some.

I have some plants for these two beds on order, from Suttons, but they have been delayed. Now the garden centres are open, I may go over to my local one and see what they have.

Then onwards. The planters I’d emptied are now full of compost and have been planted with a variety of fruit – I have a gooseberry, a tayberry and a quince tree, for starters. None of them will bear fruit for a couple of years, but it’s a start.

The pear tree is looking healthy after its cutback, and has fruitlets all over it – I thinned them out last week, so as to get some decent sized fruit. Next to it is a bramble that I’d been cutting back as a weed for years, but have allowed to grown this year, and the growth is phenomenal.

All in all, it’s looking quite promising.

Quince & Tayberry

Quince & Tayberry

Pear

Pear

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