Sunday, 30 January 2011

plenty to do...

Another dry but cold day and plenty to do around the garden. Just because we can’t sow or plant much yet doesn’t mean we should be sitting around. Over the last few days I've been able to get the top beds prepared for their new occupants! The lower beds get a bit less sun so I can’t normally start on them for a week or two later. I checked the soil pH all over the plot and it is a bit on the alkaline side so I’ll have to try and make it a little more acidic. Adding sulphur is probably the easiest solution and I’ll get that done this next week if the weather holds. Digging-in decomposed pine needles is another method but unfortunately there are no coniferous woods around here. Anyway, that's more of a long-term solution and I need a quick fix.

I spent some time this afternoon riddling compost to get some nice fine stuff for the containers. I put it through a sieve with a quarter-inch mesh and the bigger stuff that's left goes as a mulch around fruit bushes, etc. To the half-barrow of compost I added one bucketful of mole-hill soil, one bucketful of cheap growbag material, some vermiculite and a scoop of bonemeal. When mixed this gives a light, open growing medium with a pH of about 6.5 which is ideal for most of my container crops. The base material can be adjusted to suit various vegetable types by adding fertilizer at the potting stage.
For instance, carrots and parsnips get the basic mix with some sharp sand added but most other crops get blood, fish and bone meal with additional liquid feeds through the growing season.


  1. Ah still need to sieve my compost that's a job I'm not looking forward to!

  2. The soil in the bed looks really good, wish mine was that well prepared by now ;>)