Bringing things closer to home

We had planned to do something with the lawn this year, maybe a bit of paving to put the garden table so we can enjoy any sun. The lawn was never laid that well by the builders who built the house and over the last 8 years it has sunk, gone pretty uneven and has bare patches. The cats don’t help, seeing it as a bit of loo at times. Around about this time we would be marking out ways to have a garden with minimal lawn and making a start. Instead, we are marking out beds for growing food.

In the past, before getting another allotment we pondered about digging over the garden but due to cats and how the garden faces north and so on, we decided against it. We used the garden, and the lawn, a lot with our children but this year we discovered they were both nearly 17 now and ‘playing in the garden’ was no longer the most exciting thing.

Times are different now which means growing veg at home is more feasible. I am still not convinced about leaving the local deserted streets to join the crowds at the allotment is the best idea and so we started to prepare the garden for growing instead.

Because the garden faces north it has meant there has not been a good weekend to even mow the grass for months, today by luck the first and so I started by mowing. This will be the last time mowing as a full lawn. I plan to dig over most of the middle of the lawn leaving bits around the side. I don’t want to get too close to the shrubs and bushes by the fence due to roots and things, not too close to the decking as it will be in shade all the time.

We started with a first strip which means we have our first bed. I’m keen to get it all done this weekend otherwise it looks like we are digging graves. There will be paths between them but they won’t be grass ones, if we had woodchip then that’s where it would go.

Likewise, if we had cardboard and plenty of compost then this would be a standard nodig bed, but we have neither. Instead, we have dug up the turf in squares and dug the soil under it. The garden slopes a lot and at the lowest side there was only half a spade’s worth of top soil before sitting sub soil and bits of rubble, no doubt from the house that once stood here. To help bulk it up a bit we laid down some of the turf grass side down at the bottom.

The next day we stared a bit earlier with the idea of making the L shape and having a good north/south width to plant a decent length in a row. Preparation from the day before meant a speedy start but I soon hit a spot where the builders had dumped a lot of rubble before laying the lawn, we removed some big chunks of rock and rubbish out.

We planted onions and potatoes at the allotment the other week but I had kept hold of the left overs. After a lot of raking and hoeing we planted two rows of potatoes and a whole load of onions. Potatoes at the end where the top soil is deepest, onions at the other end.

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