Wednesday, 12 March 2014

It's an Under Cover Job

Posted by Rosie

Wow - with Spring well and truly sprung here (please Winter - no nasty returns) and with no husband or children to distract me, I have been able to make some really good progress in the veg garden this week.  Over the last year or so I have been employing a new method of gardening to reduce down the amount of digging I need to do.  Previously I would dig patches as they became vacant in the Autumn, suffer with back pain  and then watch as the weeds grew back in the spring before I had time to plant anything.  Now I use weed suppressing fabric.  Once a plot becomes free of veg, I add manure (often even fresh as it will rot down nicely over winter) and then I cover it with GeoTextile.  Come the spring the weeds are gone, the manure has been incorporated by the worms and with minimal work I can get the ground ready for a new crop.

And the new crop in question this week was onions and shallot sets.

This was their designated patch: 


And this is what just 3/4 hr work resulted in - ready for the sets to be planted.



In the picture below, the weeds just on front of my spade are the bit of ground I didn't cover with fabric so you can see what a difference the fabric makes - and so makes my back a lot happier.  The cracks are mouse runs - I suspect they might not be too happy with my uncovering work but needs must!  There were also a few nettle roots that had persisted but they were very near the surface and were easily removed.



In the polytunnel things are chugging along nicely:

Seeds are germinating - these are Rocket:


 ... and those early lettuces are growing nicely, all except for the front right one.  I have no idea why that one should be so much smaller


However not everything has worked and these are the spring cabbages shortly before I pulled them up and fed them to the pigs.


With the mild winter they had succumbed to mould.  I cut off the infected leaves and hoped they would recover but instead they went to seed.  Oh well - you win some, you lose some and the pigs were happy.


Outside there's plenty happening too.  Look at those lovely rhubarb shoots.  I had best get on and finish the rhubarb I froze last year then - there is still quite a few bags in the freezer. 


Oooh I have just had a lightbulb moment - I usually only offer Pavlova as the pudding for guests when they order supper from me.  I think a hot option would be a good idea.  Rhubarb crumble anyone?

To see what other bloggers have been up to in their gardens this week follow the link below.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

28 comments :

  1. Such a good idea about the weed suppressant as it's so dispiriting isn't it after hard work to watch those weeds take over? I'm a bit envious of your poly tunnel too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I *love* my polytunnel. Simon got his digger when we moved over to France. I got my polytunnel!

      Delete
  2. the difference between the area covered with fabric and the area not is pretty amazing isn't it! it looks like you're making great progress! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fabric really is a life saver - both for my back and the time I save.

      Delete
  3. Geotextile sounds like a godsend! My back is pretty poor when it comes to gardening - I can knock myself out of action for a week post-digging so I'll remember this for the future!

    Rhubarb crumble is my FAVE!

    Thanks for joining in again - I love seeing what you productive folk get up to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many garden centres sell Geotextile by the metre - I just bought the whole roll!! It was quite expensive but definitely pays it's way and lasts for years.

      Delete
  4. wow such a good idea to make your work less and shorter! what hard work you have done already. looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You said you were getting out into the garden this week, and yoe weren't kidding - loads of progress! It looks great x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how much more I can get done with "family" getting in the way!!

      Delete
  6. So much hard work! I love weed surpressing material but it's tricky because I keep re-arranging and changing my mind about plants. The idea of a fresh rocket salad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's probably easier to use in a veg patch - I'm planning also on surrounding my fruit bushes with it as they are getting too big to mow around now.

      Delete
  7. Wow looks like you have been doing a lot! Shame about the cabbages but as you say you win some, you lose some! Great idea offering rhubarb crumble to guests, one of my faves :) xx #hdygg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think the rhubarb crumble may be a popular option!

      Delete
  8. Looks like you've got alot done. Good thinking on the digging reduction. If you get loads of rhubarb you could try making rhubarb lemonade. Never made it myself but it looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'll have to try that. This blog shows what I have turned my rhubarb into previously http://eco-gites.blogspot.fr/2013/06/if-you-could-only-grow-one-fruit.html

      Delete
  9. I'll have some rhubarb crumble! x #HDYGG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best get and book at holiday at Eco-Gites of Lenault then ;) LOL

      Delete
  10. I need to get some of that Geotextile for my allotment, sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is!! Many garden centres sell Geotextile by the metre - I just bought the whole roll. It was quite expensive but definitely pays it's way and lasts for years.

      Delete
  11. your plans are really coming along so much change from last time still love your poly tunnel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Helen - I am so lucky to have the polytunnel :)

      Delete
  12. so lovely to see all that new growth! My rhubarb is at the same stage as yours - had to resort to buying some recently as I found a new rhubarb recipe and couldn't wait x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have popped over here - I still have some from last year!

      Delete
  13. Oh yes, rhubarb crumble!! Must pull my finger out and get some seeds sorted soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an exciting time of year for gardeners isn't it?

      Delete

I love receiving comments and I do read every one but if you are simply here to spam me with a link, guess what ... I won't publish it.