Saturday I pulled the last of the cauliflowers from what had been the winter garden, weeded the newly vacated patch and turned the top couple of inches to loosen it. Now I had an empty 3 foot by 2 foot patch of earth and I needed to work out what to do with it.
One thing was for sure, it couldn’t remain empty but what could be planted or sown needed careful consideration, especially in terms of crop rotation. Then it came to me ….. if I took the roof poles off the grow house frame, tweaked it a little using the corner fasteners and side poles of the other grow house frame, I could use the remaining section of fine insect mesh to make a protected vegetable bed……
…… a Mudlet sized vegetable patch!
Carrots, beetroot and lettuce! That’s what could be sown in this little patch, sown, tended and harvested by the girls and no danger of overlapping crop rotation, as none of those have ever been grown in this soil before. Mind you, I’m not sure how well things will grow in the bed, as it will definitely be depleted in respect of nutrients but I have dug a bag of compost into the area and the Mudlets can regularly feed the crops which should make up for any deficiency.
The girls were excited when I told them about their patch and were keen to get started but they had to wait until today (Monday) because I was helping Mud hone Annies’ engine and fit her new pistons on yesterday, a nightmare of a job which quite literally took all day and is documented in detail on Muds’ blog here.
A massive thunderstorm blighted this afternoon and was still in full swing when the girls came home from school. It was beginning to look like the storm was in for the night and the girls were disappointed to be told it may well be Tuesday before they could plant up their patch of garden. However, by 5.30pm, the storm had finally passed and the sun was back out. A little later, after tea, I popped out to close the greenhouses for the night and decided to rearrange the grow house and check to see if the insect netting would fit. It did, or rather the leftover section from the new netting and the old enviromesh we had, fitted the frame when combined.
It was 7pm by now and knowing how disappointed the girls had been earlier, I popped my head in the door and told them if they were quick and changed into some old clothes, they could plant their seeds tonight afterall. Two little whirlwinds raced upstairs and were soon back, suitably attired, wearing wellies, clutching their gardening gloves and eager to get started.
We had already discussed which seeds to plant, settling on carrots (as we eat lots of them) and farm peas which only grow about a foot and a half tall and so will fit neatly under the netting……no pea moth caterpillars in our peas thank you.
It didn’t take long for the Mudlets to get their seeds in the ground and they now have 4 rows of carrots and 8 rows of peas in their patch. The rows run across the bed and not along it, as this will provide easier access for weeding etc. The last job was to secure the netting in place and now it’s the usual waiting game for signs of life.