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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Matron is Happy!

 I know I am among friends here, so I can share my excitement at seeing this sign at the side of the road the other day.  Only 5 minutes from home I went to visit this morning with a couple of large bags and a fork!
Perfect stuff!  Tons and tons of it, and I could park my car right next to it.
At the far end of the heap, just dig a little and this is lovely mature well rotted manure from mostly hay, straw and some wood chippings.  Friable, crumbly and wonderful!
At the other end was the hot stuff.  Steaming and hot!  This will get my new compost heap going when added to some grass clippings, torn up cardboard and dry leaves.  A nice combination of green and brown, nitrogen and carbon. 
So this lovely bag of well rotted manure will be just the stuff to help me plant my rhubarb crowns and my raspberry canes in my new garden.   Matron is Happy today!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Building a Compost Bin

 What a perfect housewarming prezzie! The first thing I have to do before I do anything in my new garden is get myself a compost bin.  Mowing the lawn, trimming my bush (Oooh Matron!), just has to wait until I have somewhere to make compost.
 So I bought myself a handy little cordless drill and got down to it this afternoon. 
 The bottom layer of planks are fixed in to the bottom of the corner posts so it creates a solid square frame.  I am siting the compost area in the darkest area at the corner of an otherwise sunny, South facing garden.
 Once the bottom layer of planks were fixed firm, I just slotted in the other planks on the other sides.
 So now the compost bin is ready to start brewing!  Daisy's Sister lives nearby at a local riding and livery stable here in the New Forest.  So my new best friend can let me have an unlimited supply of fresh horse manure!  What more could a Girl want?  Newly mown grass, hedge clippings and fresh horse manure!  I know that all my fellow veggie growers will understand.
So, Daisy made the first contribution! My little 'Compostador'

Friday, April 20, 2018

Matron's New Garden

We've arrived!  Just last Friday Daisy and I moved into our beautiful house in the New Forest, Hampshire.  I am looking forward to sharing the beginnings of my new veggie garden.  Another exciting devlopment here is that my broadband speeds are much better, so whereas my old house took 15 minutes to upload a photo, here it is a mere 15 seconds!
 Straight down to business!  The main feature that swayed my decision to buy this house was the beautiful garden with two full size eating apple trees.  You can see from these photos that they are in need of some pruning.  We are just getting to the end of the season where you can do pruning before they spring into life for the Summer.
 I have found a wonderful local gardener who has good knowledge of how to prune trees rather than just hack away at them.  It is an art as well, deciding which branches stay and which go. You can see that many of these branches overlap, cross each other and grow inwards.  Apparently with a well pruned tree, a bird is supposed to be able to fly through the tree without hitting a branch!
 These lovely old trees are full of character, as well as a covering of moss and lichen.
The growth of lichens are a good sign that I have much cleaner air down here than I did in London.   The trees are going to get their first prune in the next couple of days so I am itching to get started on the garden.
Previous owners filled up a compost bin with last years' windfalls - so I think I am going to start a new compost heap!  Oh what fun!