Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sorting out the fruit cage and sowing seeds!

The other week saw us busy inside our fruit cage digging in gravel, ericaceous compost and moving the odd plant around. We wanted to make space for a strawberry bench. 

In reality the best plan would be to move the door from the end left to the end right, that way we wouldn't be trying to squeeze around said bench. Ah well, can't have everything.

DB and I still have to design and build the base part and as we have 4 x 1 metre troughs (for a 4 year rotation from babies to mature 3 year old plants, it needs to somehow accommodate those, gradually sloping backwards and upwards from the front. 


Although strawberry plants live well for 5 – 6 years, they are at their best in years 2, 3 and sometimes 4. The troughs will physically be moved up the stand rather than digging out and replanting each plant.  At the end of the 4 year rotation, the old strawberries will be disposed of, including their soil and that trough moved down to the front. 
 
Anyway, sorry to say, no pictures yet but thought I'd let you know about ours plans. However, I do have some pictures of the daffodils that were removed from the cage and put temporarily into pots to flower this Spring. 

For those who can't quite visualise our raised vegetable beds, we have 3 of these measuring 1m x 1m x 3/4m. They have adjustable and removable net covers.
Finally, we have one of these raised beds on legs measuring roughly 1m x 3/3m x 0.3m. It has had two overlapping perspex lids on it to warm and dry the soil. Now it is warm and dry enough, I have sown my first row of peas and broad beans. 

These perspex lids normally sit on the other beds when trying to warm up the soil or overwinter any crops. All the net and perspex tops store around the back of the garage when not in use. 
In the conservatory I have also sown some beetroot, lettuce cress, corncockle, tall white aqualegia and red rudbeckia. In a couple of weeks, I shall start of my tomatoes and tomatillo plants.  

11 comments:

  1. You are way ahead of me, I feel quite ashamed. Love, love, love the high raised beds, no more backache xxxx

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    1. Despite being raised I still can't bend over them for too long though. I couldn't hold back any longer, even got so cheesed off, I resorted to sowing cress seeds on paper!xx

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  2. J's been in the greenhouse this afternoon. He was sowing broad beans when I left to visit my Mum, but has sown other things too, and has sorted the seed potatoes out so they are now in trays in the attic room! I haven't been up there yet to see how much space they're taking up, but they will have to be moved for me to take photos!

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    1. Let's hope there aren't too many otherwise you'll have to fathom out where to put them all to take photographs!

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  3. Those high raised beds are great, and your daffodils are coming along nicely :)
    I can't wait to start gardening again, hopefully in a few weeks time.

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    1. The raised beds certainly helped with my back as I can lean with one hand on the top and garden with the other. I'm hoping the daffodils will be out this or next week. Like you, I am positively itching to get on with the garden.

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    1. The one on legs cost £26 to build using new wood, plastic liner and weed suppressant fabric to line it with. Far cheaper than you can buy, so similar to you really.

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  5. I love the raised bed on legs. Could you give a short explanation of how you made them? I've found gardening increasingly difficult due to various health issues, but as I'm a single woman of 60, I'm not very 'au fait' with woodworking. However I'm sure with a few hints as to what to use as a base of the box, and how to attach the legs safely I could probably have a go at it! I know it's cheeky, but your beds would enable me to keep growing my veggies for several more years yet. I'm sure some of your other followers would like to know too.
    Thanks

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    1. It wasn't too difficult to do. I'll get DB to do a few pictures and post them soon as they are done. Raised beds have made a huge difference to me. The advantage of the legged one is you can have the legs as tall as you want. The 3 we made for son and girlfriend are lower as they can still bend down okay! At a push, they could be made from pallets but we'll tell you dimensions of what we used then you can decide for yourself how elaborate or not you want them.

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  6. Jedd rose posted a comment asking what size our fruit cage is but as they link back to a commercial site, I am typing the answer here. Our fruit cage is 3m x 4m - not huge but holds all our strawberries, 2 gooseberries, 2 blue berries, 1 blackcurrant and 6 autumn fruiting raspberries.

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I love hearing from you, will read all your comments and try and answer any questions you leave. Don't forget to come back and read my reply! All comments are moderated so if you try to link it to a commercial web site, it will not be published.