Today was another successful day, with all of the jobs that I set myself, completed. Admittedly, I try not to overextend myself too much, but even so, I’m pleased with what I achieved. Two more beds re-orientated North to South, and Comfrey root cuttings taken, to propagate more Comfrey for creating Guilds next Winter More details, and some photographs follow.
I also have some pictures of my bamboo showing signs of growth, and some new pictures of the Sweetcorn seedlings, and tree seeds, from recent posts
Firstly the vegetable beds. The last picture that I published was not very clear, and this one is too big for the page.
Hopefully this one is more clear. The two beds at the far end are the ones that I moved around. Each bed took four wheelbarrow loads of compost, just to give a two inch covering. Sadly, as I knew that I would be moving them, I didn’t mulch any of the beds in the Autumn, expecting to have the job done much earlier. The snow interfered, and so now, not only have I had to dig, but the beds were uncovered for most of the Winter. Seven years of care, partially undone. I’ve put a layer of leaf mould below the new parts of the beds, mixed some more into the middle, and now added my own compost to the top. This year I just have to keep adding mulch.
I also propagated some Comfrey, by root cuttings. In my clay soil, it’s quite hard to get enough root out, but I had some luck. Some Comfrey had come under the fence, into a path on the North edge of the vegetable beds. I had only expected to get the top few inches of each group of plants, but the roots had extended horizontally, just below the surface. I got about three feet of root, with minimal effort. The Comfrey will eventually become one component of the fruit and nut guilds, which I will be creating in the forest garden/food forest, but I don’t need it yet. These cuttings have been planted in deep pots, filled with rich compost, and the roots that they produce this year, will give me masses of root for cuttings next year. Having said that, I’ll need to keep watering/feeding these plants all year. With a lighter soil, I could have just left the plants intact, and dug out enough root as and when needed.
These pots are about 15 inches tall, and have five root cuttings in each. I normally get about twenty root cuttings from each plant in one of the pots, so about one hundred per large pot, but to do this takes a lot of water and feed. I also put individual cuttings into another eight 3 litre pots. The leaves are just the crowns at the top. I didn’t take pictures as I worked.
For the last two weeks, some of the bamboo that I planted in the Autumn, has shown signs of growth, which is great, because that means that it’s alive. I took about five pictures, of the different bamboos, but then realised that each of the new shots were virtually identical, so I decided to only show one picture.
The bit that you are looking at is at the top, above the cut surface. I cut the cane when I dug the section of rhizome up. I don’t know if there is enough energy stored in the rhizome to send up any new shoots, but at least it will be able to photosynthesize, and store energy until it can start to spread. If you missed the original article, you can find it here
The Sweetcorn that featured in a post earlier this week, is really shooting up. This picture shows how much.
Not bad considering that less than two weeks ago, they were still in the packet. The bad news is that more than half of the original seeds have failed to germinate, and I may need to try another packet/variety. Soon these will need potting on into a deeper module. I would also like to try planting them out early in individual cloches. The water containers from drinking fountains would be ideal, but I don’t know where to look for them yet. I guess that’s one advantage to city living. other people’s waste is easier to get hold of.
I was also going to show a picture of some of the sprouting seeds from the seed soaking post, but I guess that one seedling looks just like another. Once the trees have put on some growth, they will be a bit more interesting.
Jobs to do over the weekend include, checking on my bees, more seed sowing, potting on, removing perennial vegetables from the raised beds, and planting them elsewhere. Next week I am taking out/lowering some raised beds, to allow me to grow the taller vegetables in the same area as my other vegetables, reducing my growing space. With the weather looking reasonable for a while, there’s no reason not to get all of it done.