Sunday, June 03, 2007

June's Busting Out All Over!

At last, after the dreadful cold, wet weather at the end of May, early June has provided us with 3 days of sunshine so far. The rain gave the garden a much needed watering, and now plant life is really starting to pick-up the pace.

Temperatures are in the low to mid 20's, and the garden is buzzing with life. With the recent rain, the grass is growing rapidly and needs cutting each week.

Our garden is a long, narrow strip of level ground about 20 feet wide and 180 feet long. It is broken up into distinct areas, with a 50 foot lawn, greenhouse and various sheds.

The topsoil is reasonably fertile for the first 12" or so, with heavy claggy clay lying beneath this. The garden has been cultivated for the last 100 years, since our house was built, with lots of ashes and composted kitchen and garden waste used to return the goodness into the soil.

Whilst we have in the past dug vegetable beds, we have chosen this year to go for easy maintenance grow-bags, planters and tubs.

This year we have decided to grow a few vegetables and have already tasted our first home grown cucumber (photo). These mini cucumbers are amazing, growing at a rate of about half an inch per day.

We have marrow, courgettes, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes all planted in grow-bags or troughs. Further down the garden our potato plants, sown in early May are now flourishing, and should provide us with a few tasty potatoes in July and August.

For the next 3 or 4 months, living should be easy. Our solar panel provides sufficient hot water for our daily needs, and there is no need to heat the house.

Whilst we are under no illusion that it would be possible to feed ourselves from our little allotment sized plot, nothing can be so good as the experience of growing a few vegetables, nurturing them and tasting fresh garden produce with the summer salads.