The Land Rover Owners Wife

Little Mudlets Garden

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Neat and tidy: yoghurt tubs make ideal bear traps.

Following on from the success of her older sister last year, Little Mudlet asked if she could have a section of garden this year and so a couple of months ago, I paced out two equal areas at one end of my longest bed, marked the boundary of each with house bricks, and let the girls choose which bit they wanted.

Preparing the ground for planting out.

Selection made, over the last couple of weekends, Little Mudlet has been working alongside me to clear her patch and prepare it for planting out. She had already sown carrot and leek seed in to tubs, a few weeks ago, and a satisfactory number of each germinated, and she has helped with the sowing of many of the seedlings which have, until today, been residing in the greenhouses.

Shovelling soil for her potato bag mix.

Last weekend, she weeded her own bed … again …… and then, with the assistance of a more reluctant Middle Mudlet, helped me weed a large section of the main garden, preparing two beds for Brussel Sprouts and Cabbage but the main purpose of last weekend was to plant her own potatoes into a potato grow bag. She worked hard shovelling dirt from one of the raised beds into a tub which she then carried over to her potato bag, adding it to a mixture of 1 part multi-purpose and 2 parts tomato growbag compost. With her bag one third filled she carefully placed three chitted Pentland Javelin seed tubers on top of the mixture and then gently covered these with more compost, stopping approximately 6 inches from the top of the bag.

She is a gentle gardener, handling her plants with infinite care.

Today she has worked like a trojan, weeding, digging and planting her selection of plants into her little bed. I had already built her a small wigwam around which she planted 8 mangetout seedlings. In front of these she planted 3 strawberry runners which I had rescued from another bed I was clearing, and she popped a 4th strawberry runner to one side of the wigwam.

The house bricks serve as a boundary marker.

Towards the back of her bed she has planted 3 ‘Birdtable’ Sunflower seedlings. I can’t wait to see these flower because I have never seen this variety before but Little Mudlet spotted them in the sale at one of the local DIY stores and asked if she could have them: the flowers supposedly grow flat, like a …. well ….. like a bird-table!

Planting out tomato seeds requires great concentration.

The last plants which have gone in to Little Mudlets’ space are a ‘Honey Bear’ pumpkin, a Winter squash from my usual ‘High Sugar Mix’ packet and a ‘Hunter’ squash which is an early ripening butternut type. Her final plantings of the day were 2 tomato plants which she has planted into a 2:1 mix of tomato planter compost and multi-purpose compost. She chose a yellow tomato pear drop cherry variety called ‘Ildi’ and the unusual striped ‘Shimmer’ tomato, from the forest of healthy looking plants that are taking over the greenhouse.

Planting done all that was left to do was to put beer traps in place to tempt the local slug colony away from the delicate new plants. We also scoured the garden for empty snail shells which we then crushed before scattering the shards around the bases of the plants. I am extremely proud of the work Little Mudlet has put into her patch, the care with which she handles her seedlings, the confidence she shows planting them out and the neat and tidy appearance of her piece of garden.

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