Gardening Inspector

Garden HelperI’ve noticed that this blog is a little “image-lite”, so I thought I’d show you who it is that keeps an eye on me and makes sure I’m doing a good job. This little robin (and his friend) spent this weekend watching me like a hawk, and waiting patiently for me to dig up food and nesting material for him!

This weekend saw a new experience for me – serious weeding. Previous years have been sufficiently chaotic and disorganised that I’ve pretty much put stuff in the ground, failed to thin it out, and ignored it until it was time to eat. There was a positive lawn underneath the sweetcorn by the time I finished last year.

This time around I’ve been far more organised, had more ground cleared, and have planted things out at more sensible distances. The upside is that things should grow bigger and better; the downside is that weeds can actually make progress! So this weekend saw me on my hands and knees actually pulling out weeds – an experience which really took me back to childhood.

I also started work on the last couple of yards at the back of the garden, which I need to clear PDQ as that’s where the courgettes are scheduled to go. I got probably 2/3rds of the way through (sadly the remaining third has a large tree stump in it!) on a first pass; hopefully the deep digging will go a lot quicker now.

Perhaps that needs explaining. I’m now getting right back into areas of the garden that haven’t been touched for decades, apart from me hacking down bushes when they got out of control. That means that the ground is full of weeds and roots (mostly bramble, and some unidentifiable tree/bush stuff) and is damn hard work to get into. So what I do as a first pass is to pull up anything I can, and dig over just the top few inches with a hand fork, getting out what roots I can. Any biggish roots I’ll try and excavate and get rid of as best I can. After that, I can give it a proper dig with a fork (only a fork deep, mind – I’m not crazy!) and it goes a lot easier after that first pass.

Happily it’s been raining ever since, which is (a) good for the crops, and (b) gives me some time to recover before having to go and do that second pass digging!

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