Wednesday, 17 October 2012

They're good for your heart...

Today begins the process of conditioning the soil on the East half ready for a six bed rotation.  I've dug seven neat rows, each two inches deep, and planted field beans.

At the time of planting they were scarcely distinguishable from pebbles, which was a mite disconcerting.  £3 of beans has covered the entire arable patch.  I don't know how edible field beans are as they are primarily sold as a green manure for Winter, like grazing rye.  But like all beans, field beans are legumes, which means they fix nitrogen, and we like nitrogen!  They'll grow over Winter and I'll dig them in in the Spring, thus making way for whatever veggies I end up planting.  

I'll rotate by family, so solanaceae, legumes, alliums, brassicae, apiaceae, and the 6th bed will be fallowed with either wheat or a couple of chickens.  I'm still arguing for the chickens but it'll probably end up being wheat.  

While I was at the garden centre I spotted these two alpine strawberry plants.  They were in a bit of a sorry way, with their lower leaves deprived of sunlight, the upper leaves waterburned, the roots too dense for the pot, and obvious deficiencies in nitrogen and potassium.  My heart went out to them, so I bought them at a discount.  They've been repotted in larger pots, given some 4:2:6, and they're now keeping Mike company on the landing windowsill.  

The one in the red pot is Pinky, the one in the purple pot is Perky.  

Lastly, my jasmine is growing well, although it's slowing down for the Winter.  I anticipate a growth spurt in the Spring, and I've noticed there was nothing about the arbour which would serve to encourage vines to grow across the front at the top; they'd just grow straight upwards.  I've put in a beam to correct this.  It's a kludge, but give it a couple of years and it'll be greened over anyways,  

That'll be lovely when it's all grown over.  I'll take some cuttings in the Spring and sow them in my propagator.  With any luck I'll end up with a pair of small jasmines I can plant out in April 2014.  

Until next time :)

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