When I woke today, it was sunny but with rain in the air and huge looming black clouds, so I decided to make the best of the dry, even if it meant heading into the garden at 6.30. I wanted to work on my new vegetable beds.
I’ve been thinking about growing vegetables for a while and was finally inspired to get going by reading a Daily Telegraph article about Quickcrop, a young Irish company that supplies raised bed kits and seedling vegetable plants, which they know grow well. Although, doing some online research and a good nursery would have done just as well, I found their website very helpful, particularly to work out how many plants, and how much soil and manure was needed. Although the broccoli is planted too close together because there’s slightly less space than I should have had.
I thought I’d mix the topsoil with some farmyard manure myself, having spoken to the people at Triscombe Nurseries, rather than buy Quickcrop’s premix. It was quite a lot of effort to manhandle this much soil and manure back from the shop, and it took a surprisingly long time to rake it all about to break down all the lumps in the manure this morning. Manure is such a wonderful euphemism.
I did order the plant plugs from Quickcrop though, and they arrived yesterday packed in straw. Some of them looked a bit yellow as though they’d been in the dark for a just a while longer than they should have been but with the exception of one rocket seedling, I think they’ll recover.
For the beds, I thought I’d adapt some disused cold frames rather than build new raised beds. They’re set on concrete not earth but they’re still 14-16 inches deep, which is a reasonable depth to grow carrots, broccoli, spring onions, coriander, lettuce and rocket. All things that I eat often – I don’t want a glut. There’s a layer of gravel and built-in drainage already, so in theory these should work, although they may get waterlogged. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it’s not a disaster.
Oh, and I’m looking forward to the carrots. They’re called ’round carrots’, which I thought nothing of when I ordered them. I mean, they’re all round, aren’t they? I’ve never seen a square or rhomboid carrot. Only, these are going to be spherical not long and round. Like golfballs, in other words. So I’m unexpectedly growing novelty veg now.