Jul. 2nd, 2015 07:16 pm
greg_r: (Default)
[personal profile] greg_r

All the cool kids seem to be posting about their gardens at the moment so I've decided to jump on the bandwagon. See more under the cut.

So, we moved into this house and it consisted of a badly neglected lawn and that's about it. I can't find the pictures we took for the inventory but there really wasn't anything to see. It has since been transformed with the addition of a bed where it gets most light and lots of pots. On digging up the bed I found that the soil is heavy clay wth patches of REALLY heavy clay, joy. The well established stuff which isn't edible was also there when we moved in (ie (left to right) the unknown srub, silver birch, rose and white jasmine).

It's probably worth mentioning now that everything I planted in a seed tray the first time around didn't germinate thanks to small insects and early frosts. So everthing grown from seeds in trays is about a month behind where I want it to be.

So now it's picture time, good grief these took a long time to upload.

The garden! Here you can see the slightly less crappy lawn, bed to one side, and the many pots.

Potatoes! Yep, the one thing I know I can grow well even in the world's worst soil, so they went in the REALLY heavy clay to try to break it up a bit for the future. These are red duke of york btw which are my favourite grow your own variety of early spuds.

Really small corn-on-the-cob and even smaller rainbow chard. Grow my tiny seedlings grow!

Really tiny purple brussle sprouts and corn (can you see the theme with really small seedlings yet?)

Small french beans, although these guys have got their act together and grown faster. Good on them!

Rhubarb and Rasberries. We're moving into the part of the garden that I didn't grow from seed or seeded straight into the ground. The Rhubard has literally gone insane int eh last fortnight and the rasberries seem to have decided that the end times are upon us and are producing obscene amonuts of fruit to make up for this. I'm not complaining.

Carrots! They don't seem to hate me this year (time will tell...)

Check out the girth on that one! (said the actress of the bishop) Knowing my luck it'll be really short when I get it out (said the actress to the bishop, again) but I can hope!

pots #1 herbs, wild strawberry and more potatoes. I don't know anyone else who gardens around here so just planted the rest of my seed potatoes. The plants seem smaller so I'll have to see how successful it is.

Pots #2 Strawberries and courgettes. The courgettes are also hating the lack of an early start (sigh) and the strawberries and doing ok for being in a pot (I thought they would hate the clay too much.)

This one has even put out tendrils. I can't decide if I should reward it's tenacity or nuke it from orbit. Time will tell.

So yeah, that's the garden. I for one welcome my strawberry tendril overlords **transmission interrupted**

Date: 2015-07-02 08:16 pm (UTC)
xanthipe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xanthipe
For first year work that's looking really good :)

Things that work well on clay: mulch hard and mulch often, it'll encourage worms to break it up, and spent mushroom compost if you can get it (there's a guy in Bath I can point you at if you can get it back to Didcot). Home-brew grass clipping compost will also work, especially if you just dig in fresh-ish stuff around plantings.

Date: 2015-07-03 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you :) Digging in about 100l of compost was the first thing I did when I dig out the worst of the clay but more improvement is only going to help matters.

Date: 2015-07-04 02:13 pm (UTC)
xanthipe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xanthipe
Get a borage patch going as well, and mulch that into the soil in the rest of the garden at the end of the growing season. It self-seeds like crazy and requires little maintenance other than cutting back if it gets too enthusiastic, bees can't get enough of it and they'll hit up your other plants at the same time, and that long taproot means that it'll pull up all sorts of nutrients that are too deep down for your other plants to get to.

Date: 2015-07-04 02:15 pm (UTC)
xanthipe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xanthipe
Oh, and clover and vetch in your lawn as well, as that'll bump up the nitrogen yield of the surrounding beds with very little effort and encourage more bees.

Date: 2015-07-06 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awesome :) That's definitely some stuff to keep in mind for the next growing year :) Thank you!

Date: 2015-07-06 01:16 pm (UTC)
xanthipe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xanthipe
I am a mine of specifically useful information ^_^

(And you're so getting a pack of comedy vegetable seeds if the Emporium is still doing them for next year).

Date: 2015-07-06 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Everyone loves useful information! And thank you :) That sounds pretty awesome.

Date: 2015-07-02 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow - really good work, especially for the first year.

Best thing for clay soil is to get a good green manure sown over the winter. Once everything's died back in late autumn, plant some field beans, tares, and definitely some forage rye and they'll thrive over winter, suppress weeds, break up the clay and fix nitrogen into the soil. Then, come spring, you murder it all with a hoe and dig it in and the plants themselves will enrich the soil even further. I generally get mine from Sow Seeds and they've been really good.


Date: 2015-07-03 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, it's nothing like as impressive as your stuff, but it's a start :)

I'd not really thought about green manure, I'll have to have a look at that to help it out for next year :)

Date: 2015-07-04 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your carrots look a hell of a lot more impressive than mine!

On the strawberries, you're best off snipping off the tendrils early and close to the plant or else it'll curtail the actual strawberry production. Plus leaving the tendrils results in strawberries trying to grow everywhere. Good if you're trying to propagate them, not so good if you plan on growing anything that's not strawberries, ever again.

Edited Date: 2015-07-04 12:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-07-06 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Last year we got maybe 2 good carrots, this year they are doing much better (no idea why). And thank you! I was wondering why they weren't doing much besides sending sprawling tendrils EVERYWHERE!, time to aggressively cut them back!

Date: 2015-07-02 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Balls - just left a long and involved comment with helpful advice, but I put links in with html and LJ has declared it spam. It's in your messages folder if you want to allow it.



greg_r: (Default)

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