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Indulge in a spot of gardening this Bank Holiday

03 May 2013

This week’s post is from Karen. She heads up our finance department; she’s also married to Jon, the owner and founder of Garden Trading. Here she shares what she’ll be doing in the garden this bank holiday weekend:

 

Last year I put in 4 raised beds at the end of the garden, by the garden shed. As it’s north east facing, it isn’t ideal.. there’s sun in the morning but a stone wall on the west boundary, lovely though it is, it restricts the afternoon sun.

I got round to planting my 'Early' potatoes last week, a bit late as the ground had been too cold and hard to dig over before. I realised I’d made the mistake of waiting until spring to dig the beds – it’s a job I should have done in the autumn when it would have been much easier to dig, and the soil could have spent all winter being broken down by the frosts and cold weather killing off all the pests.

My plan is to crop-rotate my 4 beds to avoid getting pests or disease and it looks something like this:

Bed no 1:rhubarb and autumn flowering raspberries
Bed no 2: potatoes
Bed no 3: legumes eg peas and beans
Bed no 4: salad vegetables

This weekend is an important gardening weekend as everything has warmed up, perfect for your plants to get going, I'll be indulging in a spot of gardening this bank holiday. So this is my plan:

  1. I’m desperate to plant out some peas and purple French climbing beans which I grew from seed a few weeks ago.  I’ve put some twiggy sticks in for support.
  2. I’ll be planting a row of rocket seeds, a row of flat leaved parsley and a row of mixed salad leaves all in the fourth bed, which will start things off there.  It's best to leave a few weeks before planting more salad or everything will be ready at the same time and we won’t manage to eat it all!
  3. I need to stake the 4 autumn flowering raspberry canes from the fruit bed and tie them in to wires running between the two stakes. Hopefully this year we should get our first crop.
  4. I’ll plant some sweet peas in the fruit bed too - I didn’t manage to grow these from seed, but you can buy strips from the garden centre quite cheaply, and they’re already about 10 cm high. I’m using wigwams or twiggy sticks again for these.  Once they flower if you keep snipping the flowers off they should keep flowering all summer, perfect as cut flowers for the house or giving to friends.
  5. And finally, a boring but necessary job, mulching. I’m using a mix of home made organic compost and manure. I’ll spread it around all my herbs and perennial flowers, which are finally starting to grow… This should also keep moisture in and weeds out!! At least for a while anyway…

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