Happy Ramblings: My first vegetable patch!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My first vegetable patch!

What made me decide to create a vegetable patch you may ask? Hmmmm, that is easy to answer with a list:

- I had been inactive for so many months over the Winter.

- We were half way through Spring here in New Zealand.

- I had been stuck in the house for too long.

- I caught Spring fever!

- I needed the exercise.

- I needed an absorbing hobby.

- I love growing things!

- and I had never grown vegetables before apart from a few herbs.

After pondering over these things it was very easy for me to make my mind up about what I needed to do. I thought about it for a few days and started making plans:

1) Where was the best place in the garden to grow my vegetables?

- at the side of the garage was the answer.

- the area is sheltered from wind.

- sunny.

- close to the house.

- close to a water supply.

2) How could I set up a vegetable patch without having to dig solid clay soil that hadn't been cultivated for over 15 years?

- Dad agreed to remove the weeds by spade (my garden is herbicide and pesticide free)

- Dad also agreed to break up the soil a bit by spade for me.

- I was to remove some of the clay soil and add lots of gypsum to what was left.

- To buy 3 cubic meters of loam which was a mix of good soil, sand and compost.

3) Would it be better to have raised vegetable beds or ones without borders?

- I chose raised beds so that it would be easier for me to bend to plant and weed.

4) What could I use for the raised bed borders?

- I saw that our neighbour was replacing the fences, at the joining boundary of our bottom paddock, through my bedroom window one morning. The fencing was being loaded into an industrial sized skip to be taken away to the tip. So I rushed down after quickly changing out of my pyjamas, not even brushing my hair! The workman said to help myself from the skip. I managed to rescue some of the smaller batons then decided I needed help. My brother-in-law and father came to the rescue and I ended up with plenty.

5) Who was going to make the raised borders?

I kindly volunteered dad hehe.

6) Who was going to shovel the purchased loam into the beds?

Me. However after completing only 1/4 of the shovelling, which took me 3 days, my shoulder complained in such a big way I yelped and had to stop. So dad took over and finished the shovelling for me. Thanks dad.

7) How was I going to stop the cats using the new vegetable beds as a cat litter tray?

With a fence made of chicken wire.

A gate at each end to let the ride on lawn mower through.

The gates made from salvaged wood and more chicken wire.

That was my formula for the bones of my vege patch!

There were a couple of glitches. How to keep the slugs out (I found a great solution). And I found that Oscar my Kamikaze cat can climb chicken wire arrrrrrgh. He went crazy meowing because I had shut him out of the vege patch while I was working in it. Then all went quiet and then I heard a thud behind me as Oscar landed on the ground in the newly smoothed out soil. Luckily he is only interested in going into the vege patch while I am in there!

See you again soon,


Rose x

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