Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Ryan's Garden: A brief update

The big oak through the fog

Today I awoke to the foggiest of spring days and at a rather chillyC it seems as though nature is saying ‘stop sowing those seeds and go back inside you nutter!’  I know this will change in an instant and we’ll soon be in that space when there are not enough hours in the day in which to get everything done - seed sowing, weeding, planting out, pest control, watering, etc but right now it still seems a little counterintuitive to be working away in the greenhouse when even the grass is reluctant to get going.  That's gardening for you!

Four of the new 20ft x 4ft no-dig beds
Since I last blogged the vegetable garden has come on leaps and bounds and its not far off being ready for the growing season.  Positioned on the left hand side of the garden, the vegetable plot will be screened by a hedge to separate it from the ornamental garden and will eventually lead on through to the orchard. I’m thinking of using Beech or Yew as a screen, although this could change, and I'm planning to plant this at the end of the year. Until then two large cut flower borders will create a permeable barrier between the two distinct areas.  

As you walk through the gate with the cut flower beds on either side of you will see 13 no-dig beds in which I plan to grow all my produce for the home.  So far seven are set up and as the weeks go on I’ll gradually complete the others.  The beds are made with homemade compost from last year, a mix of food waste, manure and garden waste, and I’m hoping that this will be fantastic fuel for the season to come.  

I plan to grow many plants on prior to planting them out, as these beds are still quite rough and not suited to direct sowing and so far broad beans, onions, shallots plus a few others are well underway.  As usual these are all growing in cardboard toilet roll tubes saved throughout the past year.  These make for fantastic alternatives to plant pots, especially for deep rooting plants such as sweet corn and sweet peas, and all you have to do is bung them in the ground when you’re ready to plant out.  The cardboard simply rots off ensuring roots grow perfectly well.  In the coming weeks the garden will be finalized and I’ll be posting updates throughout the growing season.

A very proud Albus and a few of his ladies
On the livestock front plans are afoot to add a Ram to the small flock of Hebridean sheep ahead of breeding time at the end of the year and we have now introduced our new breeding Cream Legbar cockerel (Albus) to the ladies.  He comes from a great line of birds and should help produce some fantastic offspring for the coming year and my first foray in to showing and breeding pure breed birds. 

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