There wasn’t a lot of soil left from excavating the hole for my pond in the winter of 2018, once I’d spread it round the garden. Thus, the bed by the back door
had ended up with but a thin layer over the sand, where the patio slabs had previously lain.
It had therefore always been on my mind to work on this area. So, on Sunday/Monday I moved the strawberries in the bed to the compost bin, put down newspaper over the soil and then covered it with manure.
The final layer for now is cardboard, the idea in the short term being
that it will reduce the chance of pigeons nabbing the straw for nests. Then I will cover the cardboard with manure/compost in due course.
One of the other volunteers at Old Sleningford earlier in the month told me that, contrary to received wisdom, she had been successfully growing in manure which was still quite raw. My experiment with beans grown in this way has not been as successful as I would have liked but this may be because of dry weather or bird activity rather than anything to do with the manure. In any case, I don’t have much to lose – the soil everywhere in the garden is too poor for a fantastic crop of garlic, and at least the soil in the new bed will be enriched.