Posted on July 20, 2015
Planting a Garden from Scratch: Update
In April, I wrote about how we are Planting a Garden from Scratch, and I thought I would now give a wee update on how things are going in that regard!
Something I have definitely learned since then, is that I will need to be more patient, and accept that we are not going to manage to grow a large amount of our own food this year! It is only 5 1/2 months since we moved in, and my expectations for what we would grow were probably a bit over ambitious.
Since my original post, I planted out the seedlings I had grown indoors- peas, beans, pumpkins, broccoli, swede, beetroot and courgettes. Sadly, due to the rain throughout the month of May, all the seedlings I had planted in the new vegetable beds that my husband had dug, have died, save one lonely pea plant, pictured below. The ground was so waterlogged that there were puddles all over that part of the garden, (OK, who I am kidding, the entire garden was one huge bog!)
A few pea and bean plants have survived right in front of the house (in the main photo at the top of this page), where the drainage is better, and the potatoes that I had planted in a grow bag were fine. I should mention that the rusty metal contraption that you can see against the wall beside the pea plants was in fact part of one of the original weaving looms, which we found lying in the garden. I am hoping that it will act as a trellis for the peas!
Having later spoken to a lady who lives down the road from us, whose back garden is filled with raised beds, I have found that this is a common problem here, due to the bedrock being very close under the surface of the soil (coupled, of course, with the high level of rainfall!) So our hope is to build raised beds for vegetables, and to make full use of our new polytunnel, which has just arrived in the last week.
In addition to planting out seedlings, we have planted 5 elder trees, which are growing fine, and we are looking forward to enjoying elderflower and elderberry cordial again in the future. We have started a compost heap, which is being ‘helped along’ by the chickens, and our neighbour’s soay sheep, which we still have on loan, have made short work of our back garden. We are down to 8 chickens from 9, after we lost one of our hens to some sort of infection, but thankfully the children were very good about it, and the rest of the chickens seem to be OK.
My husband has been digging out the base of the ruined byre (stone barn), behind the house, and he intends to turn it into a shed using some pallets which were kindly given to us by a friend. He has also completed the massive job of trimming our trees, which separate the garden from the road, down significantly, from 40ft to 15ft, which means they no longer pose a risk to the electricity lines.
So our immediate plans for the garden are to get the polytunnel up and running, hopefully growing tomatoes and salad leaves for the rest of the summer, then have a think about what we will plant in it for the winter. We are getting two cats this month, (to combat the mouse problem!), and we will tackle the raised beds gradually, after my husband replaces our dining room roof in August.
This was my Planting a Garden from Scratch: update, but how is your garden growing? If you have any suggestions for plants I could successfully grow in our polytunnel, during our (Scottish!) winter, please let me know below.
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