My veg patch is an absolute shambles at the moment. There was a time when it looked like the photo above, but that was at the start of last spring. Right now, it is a medley of hen-pecked winter veggies looking sad, weedy woodchip paths, and a lovely smattering of nettles, brambles, docks and other weeds popping up in the raised beds. I am very much not ready for spring. So… I made a to-do list for the next few weeks. Here it is, in case it is helpful for others with neglected plots!!
- Weed beds thoroughly & top up with compost – I am growing no dig, but because I have neglected my veg patch, the weeds have rather got the better of me this year. I’ll just gently pull up those that are there, trying not to disturb the soil too much, and then I’ll lay a good 5-10cm layer of compost.
- Wash down algae off greenhouse, and tend to the soil. The soil in my greenhouse is quite compacted and also a bit covered in algae. It needs sorting out. I’m going to dig it over lightly one I’ve washed it (just with water – I won’t use any soap) and then will add new compost so that it’s ready to go.
- Sort out hoop tunnels & netting – my garden is very popular with pigeons, and with cabbage whites, so good netting for the brassicas is essential. I’ll be using homemade hoop tunnels – I jam short bamboo stakes into the ground, stick some hosepipe over the top to form the hoops, and then cover with mesh netting. My job for the next few weeks is to get the bamboo and hoops set up, and wash down the old netting I have and repair any holes.
- Build bean supports & pea supports – I’ll be going for a trusty A-Frame bamboo support for my beans, being sure to make it as stable as possible as the autumn winds so often knock them over. For peas, some chicken wire between bamboo stakes is my go-to.
- Tidying up slug hidey-holes – slugs and snails galore in my garden, but a good tidy up of “stuff” helps to limit numbers – without so many pots, stones and so on to hide underneath. Then, when I plant, I will use a combination of beer traps and Strulch (a branded mulch that you can buy online) to keep on top of them.
- Make brassica collars – this is a job to do whilst sitting in the sun. Old cardboard packaging cut into 10cm discs, and then cut into the centre. These can then be placed around brassica stems to help prevent cabbage root fly damage.
- Sort out the paths – ooof, I can hardly bear this job – the hens broke into the veg patch when the fence came down in the storms, and they have kicked the woodchip all over the shop. They have also failed to peck down the weeds, so I’ve got to sort that out. Oh, and I should re-build the fence to keep the hens out!
- Plant seed potatoes – I haven’t done this yet, so as soon as I’ve got the hens out of the way, the spuds are going in!
I think that’s it – if I can get that all done in the next few weeks, then I am good to grow!!