As the temps are building the prep and tidying up contines. I,ve turned the wood shed into the potting shed and am slowly getting through cleaning all the pots and trays. I,m using hot water with washing up liquid.
I got of lightly I expect after last saturday nights winds. I use blocks and slabs to keep these in place but will never buy this type of enclosure again.
The new raised bed area is finished now. Each bed is about 20 foot by 4 foot. The back bed is against a west facing brick wall. Have planted elsanta and symphony strawberries to the front( to hang out over the top).from englishes fruit nursery. Against the back wall we are fixing up the wires for nectarines and peaches.
I,m very interested in testing this square foot gardening method popular in the states so have a small testing area setup. The basic principal is that you plant a differnt type of vegetable or flower into each square and rotate on the micro scale. In one square a small cabbage, 16 radishes , 16 carrots, one tomatoe plant (side shooted) etc etc. The guy who came up with this system Mel B. says its good for small gardens or where space is at a premium. He fills his raised beds with 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat and 1/3 perlite ( i think) but here its just into deep soil enriched with compost. Looking forward to this one.
To help make the rotations as clearly set out as possible I have started using batton to divide the raised beds in two. Each student has 2 raised beds so its easy to set up a 4 year rotation. Potatoes are grown separately in a larger rotation.
The new strawberry alley., 2 strawberry plants per 5 litre pot. Mypex covered ground, crates and will possible get the drip irrigation rigged up soon. We also have strawberries planted into the ground indoors.
Today we planted some asparagus crowns. They arrived looking like face hugging aliens.These plants will live for up to 30 years and are part of the the new perrenial vegetable plan. To plant these we dug a 200mm deep trench and 300mm wide. The width of the bed is about 1300mm. In the bottom of the trench we emptyed a bag of compost and dug this through the soil. We then made a little ridge inside the trench using hands, rakes etc about 3 or 4 inches high. The crown roots were then spread out atop the ridges in the trench about 1 foot apart. We used a tarpauline to mix plenty of compost through the existing removed soil and carefully covered the crowns. It will take 3 years for these plants to establish and they will not be cut untill 2017. The trenches are 600mm apart ( 2 foot) and we have 3 short rows.