I’m doing a little experiment: four broad bean seeds have been planted straight into the raised bed.
Will they germinate? Who knows – but with a large packet of seeds, there is nothing to lose by finding out.
As it is pleasantly warm outside, I couldn’t resist staying out and ploughing ahead with my forest garden make-over. So first up was sorting out the mint. Honestly, I don’t use that much and it has been smothering the blueberry bush. Also, I don’t want to to do the same to the hazel tree which will be going in close by.
The mulch I made with last year’s mint stems is still in a fairly pristine state but will no doubt be home to many small organisms. I decided to put all the mint from my exploits today in the compost bin, though. I need as much compost as I can make to fill up the raised bed.
On a roll, the next job up was to dig out the last of the chard. It’s been a great cropper, ever since a mulch of compost had seeds in it a few years ago. I’ve reached the point now, however, where I could happily not eat this vegetable ever again.
The digging couldn’t be complete without removing various other vegetation which will be in the way of the second hazel and the yew. So, gone are a few crocosmia corns, self-seeded fennel and lemon balm (another compost ‘mistake’) and strawberry plants.
I felt a touch of sadness at removing so much that has been productive and soil-enhancing but needs must. What will grow again will grow but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done for the long term good.
On the other hand, I had no compunction about covering a patch of grass which had either grown from the original lawn or self-sown, and which I’d been meaning to do something about for literally years.
Offcuts from the black plastic sheeting I’d acquired for the pond will help the grass fertilise the soil there a little. More strawberries needed to come up for the liner to go down but one way or another I’m sure we won’t want for fruit this summer.