A Patch From Scratch: March Update
Three months have passed since I’ve given an update on my Patch from Scratch project, mainly because not much has happened over the winter. I’ve planted fruit, manured and then dug the horse poo in, but aside from that everything has been left pretty dormant until now.
I have squeezed another compost bin into Compost Corner after reading Naomi Schillinger’s excellent Veg Street. Naomi suggests having a three bin system: one taking your current waste, one full and rotting down, and a final bin holding rotted down compost. This made good sense to me, and having been offered another dalek a few weeks back, I’ve taken the plunge and followed Naomi’s advice.
My rhubarb is looking healthy, despite my divide and plonker fears. The interesting thing about my rhubarb is the different speeds at which they are growing. Because the rhubarb all came from divisions of a number of random plants with an unknown history, identifying their variety has developed into my own guessing game.
I won’t hammer the rhubarb until next Spring, as it is the first year, but I did help myself to just enough to make a small crumble on Sunday. I’m deducing that this very early crown (pictured) is good old Timperley Early.
After scratching my head for ages yesterday, I finally overcame my spectacular indecision to plant out broad bean seedlings. I sowed these on a windowsill at the beginning of February, before moving them to the greenhouse once germinated.
I’ve been hardening the plants off for a couple of weeks and now they’re in the ground and fending for themselves I’m curious to see how they do. I reckon the plants are as big as they would have been if overwintered.
Growing Squashes Upwards
In other exciting and satisfying news, I’ve been building this:
I’m planning to grow squashes up the structure, which is made from old canes, half a dozen cable ties, string, four hazel poles and an old football net. I only paid for the cable ties and the hazel poles, which were about £2 each from a local wood that coppices hazel.
I got the net after asking at a nearby football club. I needed something soft so not to cut through squash runners, but strong enough to hold the fruit. Hopefully the old net will fit the bill.
I didn’t use all of the net either, so have plenty left to make more structures with.
It’s been a quiet time on the plot, but the past week has been fulfilling. There are seeds germinating in the greenhouse, I’ve made my inaugural harvest, and planted out the first of many vegetable plants.
All we need now is some decent weather, and 4 months after giving up the allotment, I’ll be a contented veg grower once more.