Friday, 12 September 2014

Mulching and planting infront of the big tunnel.

Here are a few photos taken over the last 6 months of a little corner of the garden that is a work in progress.
Spring 2014
Last autumn I mulched the south-facing area in front of the big tunnel with the hay from the meadow area. This area in front of the tunnel has been a mass of long grass and dock for the last few years. This method, of mulching first, is the way all the planted areas in the garden have begun, mulching feeds the soil and uses free available material.

In spring, after digging out a few perennial weeds with help from Zoe and her cousin Holly, a quick cover crop of buckwheat was planted. It grew on for another few weeks and then I went over the area again, digging out the few perennial weeds that persisted and hoeing down the buckwheat.

 After clearing the buckwheat I was able to give a home to some of the many perennials and hardy annuals propagated this spring.  This as a nursery bed where I "get to know" plants before planting them in a more permanent position.
At the back left are compost  heaps growing pumpkins.
Around the edge phacelia is planted as a green manure, it is in the foreground.
Thick growth, July 26th.

 I discovered this year that one of the many benefits of planting phacelia is that rabbits love to eat it. This may not sound like an advantage but other more precious plants have been mostly ignored in preference for the phacelia, although in this photo the rabbit is eating a golden form of evening primrose.

August 22nd. The plants have bulked up nicely.

September 11th. It is a happy jumble and a big improvement on last year, I have plenty of seed saved from the annuals and the perennials are filling out, ready to flower next year.

This is a close up of the golden hops that grows across the front of the tunnel and up the barn wall.
June 18th
 This is a close up of one of the compost heaps. When the barn is mucked out in spring, several barrow loads go here and then it is planted up with pumpkins. By winter the pumpkin plants will be finished and the compost / dung rotted down and be ready to go into the big tunnel, mostly for the tomatoes.
August was a relatively cool month and the pumpkins are still small on August 22nd, but there is still time for them to fill out.
There is nothing new about this idea. The heat and the fertility of the fresh compost grow excellent squash/pumpkin, although these would have liked more water during the dry July.

Of course the whole garden is a work in progress!

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