Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reclaiming ground for a potato patch

I began the day as usual: even before I put the kettle on, still in my dressing-gown, checking my seedlings. Lots of tomatoes have come up, and celery, and more snapdragons and peas and beans. Fantastic!

After too much fiddling about indoors, I turned the compost heap. This was really tiring and I had to do it in three stints.

Then I turned my attention to where I'd like to grow potatoes. Ideally I'd have sorted this out earlier, but there's been such a backlog of major clearing to do that this is the soonest I found I could get to it.

This is how it started off:

I put all the clobber elsewhere - chicken wire, piles of sticks, old incinerator, and plastic cold frame. I lifted some stones and bricks out and kept them handy because they were part of The Plan. I found a toad and many toadlets and took a tea break while they hid themselves again. Then I spread compost over the area I will be planting in:

I covered it with weed-proof fabric. This wasn't the right shape so I had to cut it about a bit, and then weigh it down with the bits of brick. Finally I put some old compost bags down on the areas that will be path, since I want to be able to lift the weedproof in a couple of weeks, and covered the bags with bark.

Seen from the other end:

When I think of the scale on which my father plants potatoes... - he'd cover more than half our total garden! Last year he lost the lot because he accidentally got weed-killer on them. Being pretty much organic, that's one problem I should be without.

PS the shrubs along the back are a ribes, a kerriea, an evergreen, a hibiscus which I love, and a potentilla.

PPS for anyone craving some colour at the moment, I've just seen this posting from "My Mother's Garden", especially the third picture down - I love the profusion, and the height.


  1. I like that coldframe very much. Karrita's garden is sure lovely.

  2. What a busy day you had. I'm glad you check your seedlings first thing as well, I'm always wandering about in my garden in my PJ's. That area for the potatoes looks big enough for a fair sized crop.

  3. Tina - thank you. It didn't get used last year but I will be hardening things off in it soon.

    Maureen - I'm lucky, the seedlings are mostly in the conservatory! We'll see about the potatoes. My father's are eaten year-round, but where he lives they don't get blight (foothills of the Pyrenees)

  4. You have been very busy. I'm getting tired just watching you do all that work and guess I should get busy too. ;-) It looks good - I'll have to check back later and see how it's coming.

  5. You had a lot of energy and it looks like a big success.


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