Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Raised Beds and Growbags

 Matron's got her Mojo back!  A trip to the garden centre to get some soil based compost for a number of raised beds.
 After lots of searching for appropriate containers to grow veggies I found these vegetable planters on the RHS website shop.  A strong fabric liner with drainage holes, and a lovely willow woven surround.  I can see veggies being very happy in these planters.
 Filled them up with a mixture of this soil based compost with a thick layer of leafmould and garden compost down in the middle to help retain moisture.
 Shade has always been the issue in my new veggie garden.  You can see here the left side of the picture is South facing, but you can see where the shade is.  Remember this is only February and the sun will get higher as the season progresses.  Fruit and veggies which produce above the ground like tomatoes, chillis, courgettes and pumpkins need full sun.  I will place them on the left side against this South facing wall.
 Leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli and lettuce can take an amount of shade,  as can root vegetables like beetroot, carrots and potato.  I can find some space against East or West facing walls to place these crops that can tolerate some shade.
 This Tayberry seems to be settling down well after the move from my old allotment.  Up against a West facing wall it should do well.  Raspberries and other soft fruit can also tolerate some shade, but they need to be kept fairly moist and do not like to dry out. I will have to be careful here because areas next to a wall tend to be quite dry.
I also took a few crowns of Rhubarb from my old allotment.  It has been a very warm Winter here in the UK and this started to shoot up last November!  I will feed it and not take any crop from it this year, allowing it to settle down and develop a root system.  This is also against a West facing wall, I will have to be careful not to allow it to dry out.  Matron has found her Mojo again!
Overnight update - Neighbourhood cats have decided to use my lovely new vegetable planters as their toilet!! Big holes dug and soil spread everywhere!  Grrrrrr


At 3:13 PM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

I wonder how much you paid for that soil-based compost? This sort of stuff is so pricey these days! I have had a lot of problems with poor / contaminated compost in recent years, and I would dearly love to find something good which is affordable.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Mark - 4 bags for £12

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

That sounds like a good price, though presumably they are quite small bags. Are they 50L?

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Supreb looking veggie beds but damn those cats!! We're back working on the plots now and have so much to do,eek!

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Nice beds, bad cats! I wish I could get you some coffee bean bags to spread around. Can you find something (pieces of fencing, screening etc) to put over the soil until the plants get larger and the cats break the habit? good luck! - Paula/Petunia


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