The Thugs Have Won

In my last post I mentioned the vegetable garden had a bit of a make over, well it has been completely moved. I admit that the brambles have in fact won the fight and refuse to go away. We dug every single fat root ball up, all 500,000 of them (that’s what it felt like anyway) but still they come back! Grrrr, the root system on these thugs is unbelievable.

We decided to move the beds to the bottom of the garden, near our spanking new posh fence. This area is a bit of a sun trap and benefits from late afternoon and winter sun, all of which will help warm the soil.

I’m much happier now this mammoth job has been carried out, it will make the coming spring sowing much easier to carry out without the worry of bramble shoots, threatening to swamp and suffocate anything and everything.

We still have some main crop carrots to pull, parsnips and sprouts. The rhubarb needs moving too once its dormant. It’s all looking very bare but it will be worth it in the long run. I just need to figure out how to deal with the bramble shoots……

Triumphant Bramble Diggers

vegetable garden so far

Oh yes, the sweet smell of success is finally in the air.  After many weeks, days and long hours, blood (quite literally, those bramble thorns are evil) sweat and near to tears we have at last rid the vegetable garden plot of those wretched brambles. And the roots. Yeee ha!

There are now 2 workable and very usable vegetable beds, already planted up with second early potatoes, onion sets, garlic and broad beans. What a difference it makes to be able to see the fruits of our very hard labour come together, to actually be able to get out there and sow, rather than wade through 12 feet of brambles. Fantastic. Another 2 beds will be finished by this weekend, then bed number 5 will be next on the list to get into position. This will still leave a lot of space free so we need to make up our minds if another fruit tree will take position or to go for more beds. Hmmm decisions.

broad bean

There’s still lots of work do, more agony to place upon our already aching muscles and limbs. We are not even half way through the whole plot that we have allocated for vegetable and soft fruit growing, but, the fact that the brambles roots are all out, thats got to make the whole process a little easier. Nettles are still a problem in next section of the plot, there are lots of them and those roots are just mind blowing. Its like an underground spaghetti frenzy going on. We are finding that digging at least a foot of the top soil is removing the runners, then, digging down a little further reveals the backbone of it all. Its hard going but its getting somewhere now, looking like a vegetable garden, behaving as a vegetable garden, which makes it all worth while really.

To improve the soil and feed it we have been using organic vegetable compost, those greedy bramble roots must have really taken it out of the soil even though its fully workable and seems quite reasonable considering. We have been composting like mad since moving into the property in November, sadly our own homemade compost is not quite ready to use just yet. Its going to be left to rot down, hopefully to be used this autumn. The hens oblige everyday with fresh droppings and we are actually running out of room to compost it all. My parents are now getting lots of free bags of straw and chicken poop till we get our act together and make wooden compost bins from the free pallets that we have been collecting. Anyone fancy some free bags of poo?