Digging for .. vegetables

What a glorious day it’s been. A peculiar one undoubtedly, but the sun has shone and a lot of people have got out into their gardens. I spoke to neighbours across the hedges on all three sides of mine, mainly to apologise for my cats but also to share the joy of the sunshine. Fortunately none of them seem to mind the cats. I was going to sow seeds today but decided instead to make a new raised bed. Why? Not sure really, maybe it was a ‘I’ve got to do something’ feeling, or maybe just that the horrible conifers have gone (see here for more on that) and the lawn is no longer needed as a football pitch or a campsite (hasn’t for several years to be honest). So I set to with a spade, dug out a patch in the lawn and made new raised bed. Here’s the process. First of all I measured the space, using some random sticks and bits from an old rotary dryer that were about the right length

Then I used a spade to cut out a tiled pattern across the space. My raised beds have various different surrounds, mostly wood but I’ve also had great success with bricks – I have a huge supply of these from when I dug up the carpark in the front garden. They are really easy to lay out and also take apart again if I change my mind and want to put the lawn back.

Next, I lifted all the turfs and turned them all upside down.

Under the these there were lots of tree roots, left behind by the dreaded conifers but they came out quite easily. Make sure you say hello to any worms in the soil

Then I tipped in several buckets full of compost from the compost bin and sprinkled dried seaweed on top.

Finally, I covered the whole thing with cardboard to keep the cats off, laying a couple more bricks on top to stop it blowing away. The cardboard was saved from last year’s delivery of the seed palace . In between it has also been used by musicians as a template for a cardboard cello – if you look closely you can see a cello shape towards the top. This cardboard has been well used. Now I have a whole new raised bed which I’ll probably fill with potatoes in a few weeks’ time. There’s a lot of fighting talk around at the moment, but I’m not digging for victory, I’m just digging for vegetables.

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