Last year I planted potatoes straight into the ground, not a problem initially, but it became a real nightmare of a task to maintain as the grass form the field beside the plot encroached upon the bed The solution, this year I am building a raised bed around the potato patch to help control the weeds. Similarly the bed that housed our onions last year had a real problem with weeds, this was more to do with the lack of preparation I put into the soil.
I have been looking online at various constructions of raised beds from scrap timber so over the last two weekends I set about building the first of my new raised beds. I had some scrap timber at home and bought the rest from DPL in Dundalk. I started with the old onion bed as it was the easier job of the two and also as I needed to have it in operation sooner that the old spud bed.
I measured out the bed and built the surround first then I laid the bottom of the bed with compost and cardboard to act as a mulch and prevent the weeds growing up through the bed. I then has to fill the bed with top soil which I was able to source locally. I got one tonne which I though was more than enough but I now know I will probably need another 2 tonne to complete the job on both of the new beds.
When the top soil was placed in the bed I then spilt the bed into two as it was very large. This will give me give me a good deal more capacity to produce veg than last year. Once that was complete I got straight to work sowing some seeds, radish, cut-and-come-again lettuces and spring onions then they were all watered and covered with a little plastic tunnel I had made from old wire coat hangers and plastic sheeting.
It was a tough weekends’ work. I gave myself far too much labour having to shovel all the soil from my trailer into the veg patch. Added to that I also have a large amount of logs from a tree that was cut down. These all have to first be cut to size and then chopped in half so for the past few weekends I have been working away at these and there is still a lot more to do.
Had I been more prepared I could have got the soil last Autumn and cut the tree down earlier and then chip-away at the work bit by bit over the Winter, but we live and learn, hopefully as we go on we will get into a routine and the work will be more manageable.
On the plus side though, the Log House is beginning to fill up after being plundered over the winter. Hopefully I will have a good enough stock of logs this year that I will not need to purchase any…..well that’s the plan.