Gardening, some advise requested.

Oldbones

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Do any of you gents have a garden, more precisely a veg patch? I have now the opportunity to have one and just this morning I have broke ground.
So what now, where do I go from this point. I was offered a rotavator to do this but declined politely as, that is just not what I am about.
I dug it with a spade, just like my dad did when I was a boy, I feel that this is the point of doing it, because my dad did it, he was great. far greater than I am.
The ground is broken, I attempted to do a double dig, partially successful I would say, now I will remove all the stones that I see.
It is an area of about 90 square feet and it was not easy to dig but the soil looks good to me.
If you as a gardener had this patch what would you do next.
Thanks in advance, I hope it works and I do have room to expand if all goes well.
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Whinging pom

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You can produce an awfull lot in a small space. And a lot of weeds to control .
be modest in you expectations and expand as you need , Single digging is fine unless it’s really high drainage. leave it exposed to let the frosts do the work breaking it down.
Try to find a way of defining the lawn and the soil with a barrier

And your best friend by the look of that soil will be a scaffolding board for setting out and working between the rows

edit :
Let me flesh out my thoughts.
your lawn areas have plantain daisy and dandelion and annual meadow grass, it will also have couch grass of some species and possibly a creeping fescue or similar.
All of which will be very grateful for your hard work . So you need to really define a clean line between the two surfaces and maintain it and to cut down on weeding .

I would knock out that small strip of grass along the boundary, and scrupulously clean out all the remains grass that you’ve turned up.
If your worried about soil along the fence put in some old roof tiles or similar as a barrier.
Then let the birds do the bug hunting and the frost work on your soil texture , if you feel the need to top dress with something rich and organic the frost will work that in too and then the worms. But don’t rely on that feeding the bed in the spring. Nitrogen gets leeched away with moisture and you’ll have to kick start it once the soil starts to warm up.
 
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Paul_B

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Are those stones limestone, if so, as said leave the soil ruff and let the frost get at it and add some sh!te type fertiliser to lower the alkalinity in the spring.

I'll be digging mine in the coming weeks and rotavating it in the spring.
 

Black sheep

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I’d dig in a load of rotted manure and the leave it until spring. I found the growing calendar easier to understand by starting with the new season
 

Gdog

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I'd advise as the 2 posts above, dig in about 50 kg of well rotted manure and leave until next spring. You will have all winter to think about what you want to sow next spring.

I have a very small walled off space in my back garden it's about 8 x 6 feet, so just over half the size of your plot. I grew green beans and carrots in it last year. This year I planted two rhubarb stools and still managed some green beans and a 2 rows of carrots. I just harvested some rhubarb yesterday, it's still growing as temperatures are 18 to 20C.

You should have enough space to try a few more vegetables than I've been able to plant.
 

ohanzee

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I like hand digging also, no idea why it seems important, it sort of connects you to the basics of it or something.

I'd start with that other basic, a compost heap, get that ready for when the time comes or started with the grass clippings, I reckon a good cyclical process is what it's all about as much as producing food.
The soil looks good so sorted there, just be careful you don't prepare it perfectly for this years weeds to find a nice place to ambush you by all appearing in spring.

Do I hear a seed swap coming on?
 

Whinging pom

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Personally I’m all for cover crops and winter mulch etc . But on a newly turned piece of ground that’s ex turf I’d rather keep it exposed for the frost to work at. I’d wait until the soils starting to warm in spring , feed it, clean it up with a hoe and rake and then start planting up those rows

compost heap is the best suggestion yet But you need to know how to use it to get the most out of it
 

ohanzee

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You have come on, was it only a few years ago you had to come on here and ask how to dig a hole!

That was 5 years ago and the hole was already dug, what I was seeking advice on was how to get the earth out when it was deeper than 3'(average arm length) and the best suggestion from the panel of experts was 'get a man in' :whistle:
 

Vintage Badger

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Yes, sow your broad beans in October or early November and let them overwinter. I found doing this seemed to make the plants tougher and less susceptible to blackfly, which can be a real nuisance on broad beans. The beans should be lovely next year with some parsley sauce over them as an accompaniment to a nice slice of grilled gammon or a bacon chop. :)

A crop of potatoes in the rest next year should help sort out the soil, with maybe a few peas and runner beans too. Don't try to get too adventurous with a new plot, it will probably take a year to get the soil texture and composition right. When you've got it digging over to a fine tilth then you can think about lettuce and other stuff that start out as small seedlings. I'd go for the more robust growing things in the first year.
 
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iainmortimer

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Decide what you want to grow and then think about where you would will put them. Some thoughts:
- sprawling plants like cucumber and squash can be grown up a trellis to avoid them taking over useful growing space but you don’t want them shading other plants.
- carrots and parsnips want to be in poor soil so that you don’t get lots of forked roots.
- mini-pop sweet corn ( stir fry sized cobs) don’t need pollinating and so can be planted in a row unlike ‘normal’ sweetcorn has to be planted in a square.

In summary therefore plan your planting schedule and then next dig in manure where you want rich soil and consider building it up in mounds like a ploughed field to let the frost get at it over winter before taking it down in spring. After that don’t dig at all other than to plant or harvest so that you don’t bring weed seeds to the surface; just hoe to keep weeds down.
 

ohanzee

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Also consider what you eat over a week, I ended up with a ton of parsley and coriander this year that I couldn't use, the pots and the time could have been used growing something I buy more of, I eat a lot of broccoli and never grown it in my life.
 

Whinging pom

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With the parsley ….
Also consider what you eat over a week, I ended up with a ton of parsley and coriander this year that I couldn't use, the pots and the time could have been used growing something I buy more of, I eat a lot of broccoli and never grown it in my life.

Chop up as fine as possible
Get some cheap walnuts bash up as small as possible … then bash again! . Then keep bashing.
Get some cloves of garlic and crush down to mush!

get some Parmesan or pecorino and grate as fine as possible .( if pecorino you may need to add little pinch of sea salt) .
mix together with some olive oil .
Extra virgin or well shagged will do!

Taste and add extra of whatever it needs … usually more parsley. Pack into jars and top up with olive oil to cover

Result highly addictive parsley pesto that will last all winter. Parsley and walnut is just one of those genius taste combinations!!

boun appetito
Edit : it has to be Curley leafed parsley .. the flat leaf doesn’t work
 
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ohanzee

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With the parsley ….


Chop up as fine as possible
Get some cheap walnuts bash up as small as possible … then bash again! . Then keep bashing.
Get some cloves of garlic and crush down to mush!

get some Parmesan or pecorino and grate as fine as possible .( if pecorino you may need to add little pinch of sea salt) .
mix together with some olive oil .
Extra virgin or well shagged will do!

Taste and add extra of whatever it needs … usually more parsley. Pack into jars and top up with olive oil to cover

Result highly addictive parsley pesto that will last all winter. Parsley and walnut is just one of those genius taste combinations!!

boun appetito
Edit : it has to be Curley leafed parsley .. the flat leaf doesn’t work

That is remarkably good timing, I have a packet of walnuts that has sat on a shelf for too long! how long does it keep for? should I just make what I need just now?
 
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