Monthly Roundup: September

Compost Corner

Not strictly September but on the last day of August, I emptied Compost Bin 2 into old growbags and compost bags – eleven in total – ready to take to the allotment to help improve the soil in my bed. So while Bin #1 does its thing over winter, I can start a new batch in Bin #2.

I could, however, have done without the eight-and-a-half-hours in A&E with chest pains that followed; and the potential diagnosis of angina following two ECGs, four blood tests, and four hours on a cardiac monitor. I am now on one low dosage aspirin a day, have a GTN spray for when the pain starts. BUT, after a chat with a cardiac nurse on September 10th, it MIGHT NOT be angina after all. Further tests are being arranged.

Gardening, apparently, is the best exercise; though I doubt she meant lugging great pots of compost around and stretching across raised bed. She probably thought I meant a little gentle pruning and a bit of weeding!

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Monthly Roundup: April 2021

Raised Bed preparation

Raised Bed A

I tackled this bed mid-month, hoping that we’d seen the last of frosty nights! The first thing was to clear away all the daffodil and narcissi pots to give access. Second – the temporary removal of the arch. Third, remove everything else and prune the fuchsia cuttings along the wall.

I rescued as many brassica leaves as I could (for our evening meal), then dug everything out, apart from the purple sprouting broccoli. I weeded, hoed to brake up the crust on the soil surface; added loads of chicken manure pellets; added the compost from five growing bags (my failed experiment to grow salad crops over winter), and raked and hoed everything again.

I’ve used a row of bricks to separate the fuchsias from the veg bed, added a ‘fleece’ layer (to start warming the soil) topped of with upturned hanging baskets to discourage cat activity, and replaced the arch in a new position – at the front of the bed where it will – hopefully – allow easier access to peas and beans (and provide some much needed shade while we have our morning coffee – once the beans have grown). All in all, a good morning’s work.

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2021 Projects: #1 Potting Shed Shenanigins

Last autumn, I decided I needed to sort out the large greenhouse (sometimes referred to as The Potting Shed. With my OU course taking up most of my time, and rain for weeks on end, I decided to leave it until spring and contented myself with drawing up a plan. It’s a long time since we converted what was a pergola and deck (built in 1999) to a shed with the addition of a roof and sides.

Everythings must be easily accessible. The right-hand cupboard has two doors, so I’ve allowed space for them to open. The left-hand cupboard is in three sections – top and bottom have two doors, but the middle is a drop-down flap; again, the space needed is indicated.

I’ve also got a folding kitchen table (used as a potting table or extra growing space). It was just a matter of moving the cupboards (which meant emptying the shed and the cupboards) .

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