The weather's been pretty good around here, and things are starting to grow alarmingly fast. Fortunately, the cows are taking care of most of the fields, in the greenhouse things were getting a bit unwieldy.
Oops. I've done quite a bit of repotting lately, helped by various visitors, and things are settling down (although I don't think the spinach is going to forgive me).
Now the individual pots look (mostly) ok, but the greenhouse itself is starting to get rather crowded.
(Actually, it doesn't look very crowded at all in that picture... but some of the beans are starting to get too tall for the shelves and there isn't much room on the floor...)
Anyway, I was given a proper glass greenhouse by a kind friend a few weeks ago, and it's languished in a pile in the garage while I've been occupied elsewhere. Last weekend I started making a base for it.
This was the first of many iterations and much swearing. I chose this spot because (a) it's sunny, (b) it's on hardcore rather than just soil, and (c) it's relatively flat. Relatively flat. It's taken me several days of pickaxing several hours at a time to make it actually flat, and looking through my photos I see I've failed to even get a picture.
Oh well. The frame is up now (and it was so hot while I was doing it that I had to leave my camera inside), but I have so far failed to put the glass in. It needs doing all in one go, to lessen the chances that it will blow away, and I've just not had a long enough stretch of time (and won't have until the weekend again now).
In the meantime, I've also been sorting out some beds, as some of these plants are destined to live outside.
People keep suggesting the no dig method - and while I approve in principle, in practice that requires rather a lot of input and time, and so I'm going for a modified version.
One bed that I started a few weeks ago is closed to 'no dig' - I scythed the grass down, covered it with cardboard, then a layer of bought in compost, then a layer of freshly cut grass. The grass underneath the whole lot is starting to die off now after a few weeks.
This is decades-old pasture land though, not your average garden lawn, and there is a lot of creeping buttercup and various things that aren't going to be killed off easily. And I need more than one bed - and there now isn't time to do the same thing with the others (and I don't really want to spend a fortune on buying in compost).
So this time round, the pickaxe came out, and I removed the top layer of matted grass.
Then I went over the whole thing with a fork, and removed the main enormous roots.
Then I covered it with a layer of scythings, a layer of cardboard, and a layer of week-old scythings that had been drying out in the sun (not for any good reason, they just needed using for something).
Not perfect, but technically I didn't really dig anything (it was hard enough work though).
This should all rot down, and when I'm ready to plant, I can make small holes in the cardboard, fill them with compost, and plant into them, without worrying (too much) that they'll be competing with the grass roots.
I think no dig beds are best started in the autumn, so this year I'll get on the case (and I'm already considering moving them elsewhere for next year anyway).
So maybe I'll be able to grow some vegetables this year. Now the beds are nicely installed (or some of them at least, I might need a couple extra at some point), I can get back to the greenhouse.
Or rather I can get back to actual work, and the greenhouse will have to wait until the weekend. There just aren't enough hours in the day at the minute.
Sit down and make yourself comfortable. I'm Jenni, and I write here about our new forray into country living, which includes growing food, knitting, baking, wandering around the fields, and seeing which local cafe serves the best cake.