The first 10 beds were ready for the 2004 season. The first crop to go in early in the New Year was garlic. I have always grown the long dormancy types that need planting after Christmas.
(Click any image to enlarge)
|The first beds planted||Garlic, the very first crop|
A feature of the first year in the new garden was that I decided to grow real no-dig potatoes and planted them under straw. It was successful and easy but needed a lot of straw. In following years I reverted to growing them in the soil.
Work progressed on the ‘hard landscaping’, or civil engineering, during 2004. A 24ft x 12ft (7.32m x 3.66m) fruit cage was erected and planted with black currents, white currents, red currents, gooseberry and cultivated blackberries. The blackberries were moved and replaced by summer fruiting raspberries.
One of the best best new features was a 15ft x 12ft (4.58m x 3.66m) polytunnel. This gave some much needed space for protected cropping as the first winter has produced a low of -10C. The subsequent 4 winters have also produced lows of -10c with -12c in 2005.
|The fruit cage before netting||Base for the polytunnel|
|The completed tunnel||Wrecked tunnel|
The tunnel was completed in the autumn 2004 and within 6 weeks it had been partially destroyed by high winds. I am convinced this was down to a manufacturing fault as the replacement cover has been fine.
Work on clearing the remains of the old drainage ditch, which ran the full length of the garden, was also completed. This was a hard and filthy job!