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Getting started

May 10, 2023

I actually got started with the garden last week, but I couldn’t write about it the next day because it was one of those all too frequent mornings when my stupid Mac is slow as molasses and I have to shut everything down (which takes way longer than it should) and reboot the computer, by which time I needed to leave to meet Joe for a walk.

So, last week.

I know this probably seems like a daft place to begin when there is so much to do in the actual garden, but there is something about clearing this path of needles and cones and twigs and branches that I find enormously satisfying.

Then it was time for the main event. The raised bed.

could have spent the afternoon turning over and fertilising the whole thing, but (a) I couldn’t really face it and (b) I’m not sure what I’m going to do with most of it, so all the turning over does is turn it into a giant outdoor litter box for Stella and other neighbourhood cats.

Maybe a third.

Yes, that’ll do. Shelling peas in the ground, along with pole beans. Bit worried about the latter, as neither garden store had the ones I really like so I’ve had to plant seed from 2021. They’re supposed to be good for three years, but we shall see. Oh, and surprise! There are sunflower seeds planted in the middle of the frames. Should be good.

Brief break in last week’s work when Sleazy and Uneasy Riders stop by to say hello.

Intended to get back down there over the weekend, but “summer” ended abruptly after two days, so I’ve only just started again.

One thing I absolutely had to do was get the cherry tomatoes that have been sitting by the diningroom window planted. They’re getting too tall.

If there is one lesson I’ve learned it is that tomatoes will, if they can’t go down, go up. And up. Witness the giant mutant tomato that grew from a seed in one inch of soil on top of concrete when Ben and I were living in Walthamstow.

For reference, Ben is about six foot three.

Haven’t had much luck in recent years with cherry tomatoes planted in the ground in this bed I created especially for them, so I’ve decided to go back to planting them in pots. We shall see.

Last time I emptied the indoor compost bucket into the big composter by the garden I realised it was getting very full indeed. There must be a fair amount of actual compost to dig out from the bottom. And indeed there was.

Question is, how much can I retrieve from the bottom before the material above collapses? Answer? This much.

Woo, hoo!

Where to use this compost? Well, let’s start with the strawberries.

And while I’m kneeling at this bed, let’s do what I was considering – dig up the two blueberry plants that aren’t completely dead and transfer them to inside the other frame.

The holes I dug for them were filled with compost and nothing but compost. If they can’t get enough nutrition out of that to prosper, well, fuck ’em. They’ve had their last chance.

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