Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire



Potager progress

It’s been a while since our embryonic veg garden appeared on the blog (in the bleak mid-winter actually) so here’s a picture showing where we’re at right now.   We managed to get 3 of the 4 beds we’d planned dug out – the final bed can only be installed after we’ve dug out several tree roots, and shifted a few tonnes of soil to level the area into which it will extend (just out of shot in the pic) so that’s a job for the autumn.

One bed short of a veg plot

One bed short of a rotation

In the meantime we’ve planted raspberries (summer and autumn varieties) a loganberry, winberry, potatoes (pink fir apple, because we love the idea of maincrop spuds which taste like first earlies) courgettes, broad beans, french beans, runner beans, leeks, radishes, parsnips and beetroot. And in other parts of the garden – butternut squash, garlic, blueberries, all sorts of salad leaves, rhubarb, red currants, gooseberries, tomatoes (5 different varieties) cucumbers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, carrots, more parsnips (we like parsnips!) and salad onions (which last forever – we’re still picking a batch we sowed in the polytunnel about this time last year).

Does that count as self-sufficient?   No, nowhere near, but it’s wonderful to be able to supplement our diet with really local food, which we can eat within minutes of it being picked, and it really doesn’t involve very much effort.

We haven’t suffered too many set backs (yet?).   Our only real challenge so far has been to keep the pigeons off the newly planted runner bean plants – the little devils shredded virtually every leaf as soon as they were planted out a few weeks ago.  We solved the problem by wrapping the whole bean pole construction in fleece for a couple of weeks, until the plants had climbed out of reach (we’re not saying our pigeons are lazy, but they’re showing absolutely no interest in the leaves now that access to them involves actual effort on their part).

OK, we are saying our pigeons are lazy.  And fat.  They’re the B52’s of the bird world (in the sense that you watch them trundling towards take-off, and just can’t help thinking “that’s not going to happen…”).

And the blackbirds think the pigeons are fat too – we’re sure they’re singing “who ate all the pies” when the pigeons belly-flop onto the lawn….

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