Weekend Gardening Thoughts

A Weekend Garden Catch up. (Or general chit chat to anyone that cares to read/listen)

Finding Zen

I don’t really need two lines of raspberry canes.  I appear to get enough of a harvest from one line (about 10-12 canes) which happens to be properly placed towards the side of the garden. The one at the end of the garden, however, is blocking a good deal of space that could be better utilised.  So out came the raspberry canes, yesterday.  Well, I say out but I can be assured that I’ll be pulling further canes up as they appear next year.  And the year after…And many years to come I would imagine.  Raspberries are far hardier than their first year of feebleness that is replaced by a root system that can spread far and wide, followed by canes that can break through clay soils, raised beds and gravel with ease.

I’d like to create more of a seating area at the end of the garden, under the eucalyptus tree.  I’ve had a design concept in my head for a while based on a Japanese theme which sounds good but for two issues; the area around the tree needs raising to make it level.  This is because the size of the tree roots are now rather numerous and thick.  They are also very close to the surface of the ground.  And secondly, I’d feel a bit like a fish in a bowl sat there contemplating and meditating appreciating the rustle of the tree leaves and the sound of a gentle water feature as I’m my neighbour stares out their window wonder the hell I’m doing because they would get a full view of me.  Not sure what screening I could add?  I’m pondering the

And secondly, I’d feel a bit like a fish in a bowl sat there contemplating and meditating into a Zen-like state.  Appreciating the rustle of the tree leaves and the sound of water gently trickling from a near-by miniature fountain (solar, obviously), as I’m my neighbour stares out of their window wondering what the hell I’m doing, because they would get a full view of me.  Not sure what screening I could add?  I’m still pondering the issues…

Straw bale gardening.

I’m quite excited by straw all of a sudden.

My experience in growing potatoes in raised beds has been mediocre so far and that is primarily because the beds have soil in them already and I don’t have anywhere to store soil to add on top of the bed, as the tubers grow.  So, understandably, the potatoes can really only give me about 6 inches of tuber harvests which means the potato crops are limited.  The second problem is the amount of soil/compost required to top the beds up as the plants grow.  In a 1.5m x 1.5m bed we’re talking half a tonne (at least) of soil (350 litres) and that’s costly.

So I decided to search on You Tube –  “growing potatoes in raised beds” and found this:

Ignoring the fact these guys are based in Florida (for us British) and it’s sunny as anything (even though it’s apparently Winter – pah!) the video basically shows me a solution to both my problems.

Okay, the black wrapping isn’t the prettiest.  You wouldn’t want to be looking at that all summer out of your kitchen window (although on an allotment, it would be fine).  But there is nothing to stop me (for instance) growing something in front of it to hide/break up the blackness.

This idea is perfect and the video shows how easy the solutions are.  Using a material that is flexible but strong enough to temporarily raise the sides of the beds and then filling the bed up with straw/hay/leaves etc rather than compost.  Genius!

Staw and hay are so much cheaper than compost – and much (MUCH in big letters) lighter to transport about.  Also, potatoes hate nutrient rich compost and what does compost consist of?  Nutrients!  That’s what you pay the extra for.  So imagine a great big bulb switching on above my head, when I suddenly realised that of course straw or hay would be a much better alternative.  Plus once the plants are watered the material will flatten down to create a mulch. And the best

And the best bit of this is – after digging up the potatoes (of which I’m now hoping there will be loads), the mulch can be recycled, either on other beds or straight into the composter.  Genius x 2!

A good weekend of thinking.  Who says gardening is all hardwork and messy nails?!

Question of the week:-  What is the strangest material you have ever used in your garden/allotment to help a crop to grow?

Until next time, wishing you a great green week.