Last weekend we made a no dig raised bed using left over wood, just a basic rectangle frame screwed together in each corner using decking screws. It measures 4ft wide by 7ft long.
We used cardboard to kill the lawn by excluding light, each piece overlapping the other to prevent grass growing through gaps. Tuck it underneath the frame so that it’s just showing on the outside, this prevents lawn coming through on the inside edges of the raised bed. The cardboard will rot down naturally over time.
This month has flown by for me and I’m quite late putting this post together. The photos were taken just over a week ago, since then, everything has put on more growth.
Inspired by Charles Dowding, the four no dig beds we planned are finished (no dig = cardboard to smother the lawn/weeds, topped with a deep layer of compost), onions occupy one of these beds and doing well. Sweet pea scramble up an obelisk in another of the beds and these will soon be joined by courgettes, with butternut squash, pumpkins and beans going in the larger beds in the middle of the garden.
Broad beans overwintered from November (‘Aquadulce Claudia’) are almost ready to pick and ‘Bunyards Exhibition’ started off in spring are flowering already. I’m giving a heritage variety of broad bean called ‘Crimson Flowered’ a go this year, as the name suggests, the flowers are crimson and should look really pretty.
Garlic ‘Red Duke’ is looking really good with thick necks and no sign of rust (yet!), probably the best-looking garlic I’ve ever grown. I just hope the bulbs are a decent size because the leaves are extremely healthy and leafy!
Quick crops such as radish, mustard frills, spring onions, rocket and salad mixes are all providing plenty of pickings for meals. We grow these in containers and wooden crates. The herb patch is thriving, along with thyme plants that are doing brilliantly in a spot that doesn’t receive much sun at all. Experimenting with gardening sometimes pays off.
Peas are growing strong and flowering now, variety ‘Jaguar’. More peas have since been planted out including my favourite purple varieties ‘Blauwschokker’ and ‘Shiraz’, the flowers are just as stunning as sweet pea. Sweetcorn is now in position after hardening off, I prefer to start the seeds off in pots and keep them in the conservatory where it’s always warm.
Beets, chard, carrots and parsnips are popping up and potatoes are looking very good and almost ready to start flowering. Plenty of tiny fruits on the blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes to look forward to and the strawberries, wild strawbs and raspberries are all in flower with small fruits forming.
The veg garden looks like a proper veg garden now, the bunting is up on the shed and flowers in troughs and hanging baskets soften it. It’s hard to believe this garden is less than a year old, I’m very proud of it and looking forward to seeing it evolve and change even more over the coming months.