Thursday 17 May 2012

The Veggie Patch

Overall view - with our Landlords office in the background (we have no access to this).

While Lovely Hubby was busy over the weekend tarting up, I mean 'putting the finishing touches to' his Man Shed I was just ten paces away playing on 'my patch'.  I've decided to call this the Veggie Patch, at our last place it was always called the Kitchen Garden, as it was immediately outside the kitchen and here we grew everything we ate.

Now it is over away from the house and as we have laid a giant sheet of membrane it looks just like a patch on the grass. So the Veggie Patch it will be known as from today!! 

 It is about 8m by 12m, so I guess the size of an average back garden and I'm hoping that it will feed us right through the year.  I will be planting successionally and harvesting and freezing the produce all through the growing season to feed us over Winter.  LH is doing me a posh plan of it, I had done a scribbly one on paper but he said the computer will do me a 'proper posh one', so I'll let you have a peek when it's ready.

Fruit trees and bushes are planted in the majority of the tyres. They all survived the move well.

The reason for the membrane and not for simply digging up the ground and putting the raised beds in place, well before our landlord lived here the lady who had this bit of land grew Fuschias, not just as a little hobby but on a massive scale (we've been told she held some of the national collection of rarer plants) and she had rows and rows of greenhouse here, so the ground was very stony with a very thin layer of grass covering all the old greenhouse bases.

The Strawberry Bed, they also survived the move well and are thriving.

So we took an easy option, put down the membrane and built the raised beds on top.  Not many of the things I grow have deep root systems so this will work well. LH built me two strong wooden beds with wood he had over from our last place and the rest are all the beds I used to have in my polytunnel there.  We decided not to spend a lot on this place as we will probably only be here for three years.  Then we will be able to invest in good beds for our forever home.

Compost Bins and Worm Beds in the background

 It looks a bit messy now but once the wood chippings are all down it will look how I already see it in my head.  Neat, tidy and productive.  I've been busy planting some of the beds already and LH has put all our fruit trees and bushes in the tyres, that also came with us.  I have a couple of empty tyres to grow some carrots and parsnips in so I can get nice long veggies.

I have two large, strong, new wooden beds the rest are the plastic ones from the polytunnel.

At the back of the patch is my long line of compost bins and then behind them the worm beds.  The idea is that trimmings and kitchen compostables go in the first bin along with weeds, grass cuttings and the cleanings up from the chicken houses (see how politely I put that!!) until it is full, then I start on filling the next one.  When I am on to the third bin the contents of the first one will be tipped into the worm beds, it will then have broken down sufficiently for them to be able to digest it and finish off the wonderful job of turning it into usable and nourishing compost.  So a good cycle of waste to usable compost all right next to the very place where it will be needed most.

All the compost in all of the beds has been brought with us from Jointers Farm, all made by LH with a bit of help from his friendly team of worms.  And we have lots of good well rotted/composted horse manure, so all my plants/trees/bushes are getting off to a brilliant start, thanks to hard work last year. 

Under the net cloches are radishes, lettuces, mixed leaves, cabbages and MangeTout peas and some beans all starting off.  Because of the netting these plants have all survived the last couple of nights low, low temperatures.

Must go and shift a couple more barrowfulls of chippings, I have to make the photos match the image in my head as soon as I can!!

Sue xx


  1. Sounds like you have got yourself organised really quickly since your move. Well done!

  2. We are not working the veggy patches this year, too much house maintenance to do, so I'll get my enjoyment through yours!
    Jane x

  3. You really are phenomenal - one day I WILL have a vegetable patch xxx

  4. You two are amazing! Enjoy the fruits of your labour :)

  5. Such a lot of work considering you will move again !

  6. I've got a recycled shed but he made a rotten job of it and didn't overlap the front of the shed chipboard roof which gets the weather, when there was plenty of stuff to overlap. I could have had a new shed for what I paid for him. So I would love a new shed but for me. If I ever managed to get one, I'd have to have a little one for the spades etc.

    Your planting out area looks great.

  7. Your veggie garden is amazing!It is so very interesting hearing about your plans and plantings. Enjoy your gardening! love Heather

  8. Crikey, I feel tired just reading about your hard work!
    It does look well organised and productive though.

    Well done you 2.

    Sandie xx


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