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Adventures of an Amateur Vegetable Gardener

18 February, 2011

Somewhere in the mists of time (read: the middle of last year), my partner and I decided we’d like to try growing some of our own vegetables this year. Ok, maybe I decided and my wonderful partner sort of nodded and agreed to help. Now, we’re not entirely newbies when it comes to gardening (or at least I’m not) – I’ve been keeping a selection of houseplants ever since I was little, and we already have a nice little herbaceous border at the bottom of the garden. Vegetables, though… Well, they’re something of a different kettle of fish, so I thought I’d post about our progress this summer and see what we’ve achieved by the end of it.

The fun really started about a month ago, when my parents arrived, tools and large pieces of timber in tow. Over the course of an afternoon, they built this:

This is our raised veg patch, or will be. It’s absolutely as big as we could fit into the space, about 4m by just under 2m. It’s also probably twice as deep as it needed to be, and looks a bit like a major piece of civil engineering, but at least it should be sturdy. You can see our much less sturdy shed behind – should one of the two ever take-off in high winds, it’s NOT going to be the raised bed.

The next stage, of course, is to fill it with soil. Which is where this comes in:

These are the three bags, each weighing a tonne, of fresh topsoil that arrived this morning, courtesy of a large truck and truly the biggest forklift I’ve ever seen. Only one problem now remains: the soil is at the front of the house. The vegetable patch is at the back.

At this point, it’s probably redundant to mention what we’re going to be doing this weekend. Suffice to say, it will include a wheelbarrow, as many shovels as we can lay our hands on and, by Monday, a lot of sore muscles. Wish us luck!

  1. Helen cooper permalink
    29 May, 2011 9:26 am

    I like you have this weekend built a raised vegetable patch. We took down an old shed and have built the bed on where this stood. 8th x6ft. Now starts the hard work. I have filled it with 4 1/2 bags of compost and they haven’t touched it off to the garden centre. I think another 9 bags might do it. I have no idea what I am doing I don’t even eat many vegetables but hopefully this might inspire me to eat them.

    I wondered how you are getting on. What have you planted.? How are they growing?

    Oh well off to the garden centre?

    • 31 May, 2011 1:17 pm

      Hi, Helen,

      We’ve planted a number of different things in our veg patch, so far: to start with we’ve got pak choi, spring onions, lettuces, spinach and radishes, which are all quite fast growing. We’ve also got some garlic, butternut squashes and courgettes, but those are all much slower growing and we won’t really know how well they’ve done until later in the year.

      If you’re planting from seed, I’d definitely recommend some fast growing green veggies, like lettuces and spinach. They seem to be very easy to grow, from our experience.

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