Ready steady grow!

Ready, steady, grow!

I’ve emptied the polytunnel and tested the sprinklers: it’s about time to ready, steady, grow!

The Weather

It’s been cold here. This time last year it was warm and the wisteria over the back decking was in full bloom. This year there’s just the first small handful of flowers.

When I say ‘cold’ I mean that we hit zero just a week ago. I brought in the chicken water so that it didn’t freeze overnight.

When I say ‘cold’ I mean that we’ve routinely had temperatures of around 2 and 3 degrees over the last week. That’s ground frost temperatures.

Looking ahead on the forecast I can’t see another zero coming up, but there’s going to be a few more low nights in the next fortnight.

Those potatoes

The time I get the seed potatoes in the ground has been a running joke for several years now. Last year I got them in the ground in April. This year, well, it’s probably going to be this weekend, so early May.

On the plus side, looking at the bed where I had the Arran Victories last year, I can see that I missed harvesting some. Because, yes, there are potato leaves poking their heads up!

So I think we’re going to have a nice early crop from there, and then the later planting will see us further through into the year. Can you feel how accidentally smug I feel right now? Because it feels great.

Ready, steady, grow!

The tunnel is looking pretty neat now I’ve emptied it of overwintering hens, overwintering hen paraphenalia, and opportunistic native plants in the wrong place (also known as weeds)!

I finally worked out in my head how to match my dearth of raised beds (I love a good raised bed, me) with my surfeit of empty builder’s bags. These are the big woven polyproplene sacks that I’ve had previous bulk deliveries of woodchip for the hen runs and hardcore for the front garden paved area in.

So this weekend I’m going haul the empties into the tunnel, figure out where they’re going, and roll or fold down the top to make knee high raised containers for soil. I’ll cut the bottom up some to provide good drainage. And I’m planning to layer some cardboard underneath them to invoke the good old ‘no dig’ method of weed suppression. Because I’m pretty sure there are still weed tap roots in there. I was thinking about using some stakes at the corners but I also think the soil in them will provide enough stability to hold it up. I’m not aiming for design prizes here.

I’ve got enough dirt to get the late planting of potatoes in, and then I can look at ordering in some more to create all the new raised bag-beds. Here we go!