Sunday 13 December 2009

Ice Festival

In the foreground - digging progress, in the background the brassicas - or the Far Pavillions! The Cavalo Nero is still standing sentinel. We've had two days of feezing fog in Edinburgh and the temperature has struggled to get above zero today. All the green netting has turned into Christmas decoration!

Here's a closer look at the ice baubles.

Friday 11 December 2009

The Seeds of Change

The seed order's arrived and next year the plot should look like this: (but with potatoes, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb and hopefully blueberries too!)

And while I'm about it I came across my old planting timetable planner. Note that it uses months of exactly 4 weeks (columns 1 to 4)and the distances (the rest)are all in inches. I've found it invaluable as a prompt as to what (exactly) needs to be done and when. It is based on information extracted from Dr Hessayen's "Vegetable Expert". Of course preparation has to precede the sowing and planting, ideally by a matter of weeks. No one prepares a bed and sows it on the same day do they...)

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Compost - The Worm Turns

I've been prompted to this post by the Drooling Vegetable ,who doesn't believe that composting is possible without devoting half of your garden to it. All you need is a couple of 'daleks' and some squirmy friends:

Here's a 'dalek': (available from local authorities and 'green' agencies free or at subsidised prices)

And if you open the 'control panel', you'll find this

Close up:

These are 'brandling worms' and they'll save you the trouble of turning your compost heap because they mix it up for you, accelerating the breakdown of kitchen and garden waste so that in a matter of weeks the volume of your compost heap is dramatically reduced. In summer this is more dramatic than in winter. This colony has been to-ing and fro-ing between my two daleks for over ten years, surviving temperatures from -10 to +28 degrees C.

Brandling worms can be bought by mail order, but we got ours free from the zoo. (We bought some zoo manure, 'zoo doo', about a decade ago, and by the time I got around to digging it in these had colonised the heap.) I read that they are sold as bait for anglers, so that might be another cheap and local source.