Real Men Sow

Introducing My New Growing Area – A Patch From Scratch

This week, I started a new feature on Real Men Sow, called A Patch From Scratch.

And here it is, my Patch From Scratch. The unruly space I’m aiming to turn into a nice veggie patch.

I’ve cleared the weeds away from the part bordered off by the wood edging. When we got the keys to the house, they were about four foot high. We strimmed them down to reveal a little surprise: it appears that previous occupiers had tried to use the space.

Not All Plain Sailing
However, it’s not all going to be plain sailing. The soil is full of big weed roots which will need pulling up as soon as possible, and as you can see there is a rather large tree stump sat plum in the middle of the bed. Crowbar at the ready.

I’ve also got some turf to shift. To make the most of the area available, the grass on the right of the picture will be pulled up so that I can grow up to the fence and alongside the greenhouse.

To the left of the greenhouse is also shrubbery which will require a good deal of effort to clear. Some of the shrubs are in better nick than others, and there is lots of overgrown grass in and around them.

A Bonus Greenhouse!
I’ve been measuring up and I’ve got an area of roughly 22ft x 15ft to play with, including my greenhouse. I’ve never had a greenhouse before, so I’m very much looking forward to experimenting with some different heat loving plants, as well as the opportunity to extend the growing season.

The greenhouse is 7ft x 6ft, and I’ve also got a useful 22ft x 2ft strip the other side of the path, slightly out of shot in the first picture, but show in the one below. This strip is very overgrown, and the bushes in there will need completely ripping out. It’s tricky to imagine the space available at the moment, but hopefully once the plot is tidy, everything will make more sense.

A Smaller Space
I’d guestimate I’ve got about half the space of the allotment available here, so it’s going to be a challenge to squeeze in as much, and this will require some thought and imagination.

Behind where I’m taking the photo from is a big shed, and this rather ugly area. The surface is made up of old concrete, so I can’t grow there but I do have plans. The space is perfect for compost bin, as well as a important breathing space where I can temporarily store bags of weeds or a small pile of manure.

I just need to work out a way to jazz up that horrible wall.

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  1. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening!July 18, 2012 at 12:14 pmReply

    Jono — you’ve got your work cut out for you, but what potential!

    Next to the shed where the concrete is — why not build some raised beds right on the concrete? You could even plant bamboo to hide the wall, provide some instant height, and supply you with garden canes. The raised bed on concrete will prevent the bamboo rhizomes from escaping. :-)

    I’m looking forward to seeing your progress, and don’t envy your tree stump.

  2. 5ollyJuly 18, 2012 at 5:12 pmReply

    Woo. It all looks rather exciting! I like the idea of growing some bamboo for canes. I’m doing the same at home.

  3. Jono

    JonoJuly 18, 2012 at 6:47 pmReplyAuthor

    Thanks for your comments chaps.

    I do like the bamboo idea a lot. I used to have bamboo in my old garden. It was planted by the person before me but it ran riot. Absolutely nightmare to keep under control. Kind of put me off growing it again.

  4. HelenJuly 19, 2012 at 6:15 pmReply

    Am jealous of your greenhouse is huge compared to mine

  5. Martin SearleAugust 9, 2012 at 8:13 amReply

    Good luck getting the root out!

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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