Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Easter frenzy

Great weather and not too much else on over the long Easter weekend allowed us to make some real progress in the garden. To ensure our progress was coherent and effective, we consulted our "plan". One thing we had that needed to be planted (because we had dug up some plants from our old garden, and had them quietly dying in the cold frame) was Rhubarb. The plan indicated that the Rhubarb needed to be at the opposite end of the plot from where we had done any work so far. We carefully measured out the whole plot to ensure that we would get the Rhubarb plot in just the right place as shown in the plan, and realised two things. Firstly, the Rhubarb plot was a long way from where we were, and that if our measuring was only a little out, we might really balls up the whole plot layout. Secondly, the Rhubarb plot measures some 4' x 30'. Since it took us over a year to dig two beds totalling 4' x 24', we thought that this might be too much of a job for a weekend. The solution? To add in a row of four, 4' x 4' beds into the middle of the plot. Unbelievably, we managed to dig two of these over the weekend, and even manged to find some room in our trademark trapezoidal end beds for some Strawberries.
Asparagus (back) and Rhubarb (front) beds
(with strawberries in the bits at the side)
One interesting fact is that double digging one of the beds took about an hour-and-a-half; the carpentry for the frame about 30 minutes, and setting the frame in straight(ish) and level(ish) another hour. Three hours for a 4' x 4' bed. That should make the big 12' beds we have take about six hours (building and setting the frame should take about the same time whatever the size). Makes you wonder why they take six months...

Vegetable plot - April 2011
(badly planned to perfection)

The final bit of news is that we finally managed to get the Orchard rotovated (delayed not by us, but the builder that dug the bloody thing up at Christmas to put in the new septic tank, mutter, mutter). We're still waiting for someone to sow grass seed or (if we're really lucky) put down some turf. In the meantime, we have a plan to put a hedge down the middle of it to screen the tank off from the house. We'll probabaly need another long weekend to get that done - next easter perhaps...
The rotovated Orchard
(ready for grass, a hedge, then fruit trees?)


  1. I love your beds!I have not seen this shape in use before. It seems all the hard work is being done this year, by next year your beds will be in place and you will only have to turn the soil to begin the new season.
    Plans can and do go bit awry when unforseen changes have to be catered for!

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