Baby Vegetable Beds

With the fine weather we have enjoyed this week we have been able to undertake what I consider to be the best job in the Kitchen Garden, the digging of the vegetable beds. Along the warm South wall we have a series of small beds dedicated to the growing of baby vegetables for the Chef.  This is the warmest and sunniest part of the garden which means that the vegetables grow quicker here than in other parts, enabling us to produce a constant supply of these young, tender specimens for the kitchen.  In a couple of weeks we will start putting out cloches to warm the soil for the earliest of these sowings and in preparation for this we have started to dig these beds over.  Although traditionally a job for the Autumn, 100 years of previous gardener’s toil have left us with beautiful soil and the luxury of being able to leave the cultivation until later in the season.  We will leave the beds roughly dug until we are ready for sowing, leaving the rain to break down any large lumps which are left and making the raking level an easy affair.  For the time being though we get to enjoy the satisfaction of our neatly dug beds just waiting for action.

Baby Veg Beds

Helena.

 

4 thoughts on “Baby Vegetable Beds

  1. I have been reading a few ‘no dig’ posts recently, and find this quite a tempting approach. Can you give the other side of the argument about why you dig? Sorry! A brief answer is fine!!

    1. The n’o dig’ method is good because it develops the best soil structure. Research shows that after 5 – 6 years it is best to dig as soil fertility decreases after this time. By deepening the organic mater and pirating the soil the dig regenerates fertility. We manure our bed every second year and as part of the rotation dig on the 5th.

      For ‘no dig’ to be successful it is very important to be able to make high quality compost which is relatively weed free. On heavy soils it often doesn’t work as well and so regular digging often works best. The other thing about ‘no dig’ is fitting the composting into the rotation as it needs to be cultivated to make a seed bed. We get round this by putting pot and cell grown crops, such as pumpkins and brassicas, out on composted beds, and sowing drills in the years we don’t compost…….. I hope this all makes some sort of sense
      Tom

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