That’s what’s at the end of our fairly large garden!
Oh, and weeds. Creeping buttercup apparently. The queen of weeds in the Wintle garden.
One big reason for buying the house that we bought was the c. 100ft garden. For a nearly-town house this is HUGE! And it’s nicely split with some lawn, some patio and a vegetable patch.
There are numerous reasons why we think a veg patch is great:
- It’s OH SO ENGLISH!
- We believe in buying locally
- We’re trying to be sustainable (might not achieve that this year but hope to in future years!)
- We hate supermarket food packaging
- Gardening is fun, and a good team-building opportunity
- It will help us keep fit
- Food will taste better
- Eating vegetables will be SO much more satisfying knowing that we’ve grown them ourselves.
Oh and we’ve already decided that there’s no point resisting the fact that we’re turning into our parents so there’s not real excuse NOT to get into gardening.
Preparing the Soil
Now, we bought the house in October and it took us a while to move and unpack and settle, so we’ve only really just seriously started thinking about the garden and from what we gather, all the weed killing processes (mulching, rotavating, poisoning and so on) start in the autumn and progress over the winter.
Failed Cardboard Mulching and so on…
We DID originally try laying lots of cardboard over the patch. This would remove the light and air and kill the plants and they would then rot into the ground! But this has only been a little bit successful. We didn’t really have enough cardboard and it kept blowing away – you need LOTS of BIG boxes and heavy things to hold them down – fabric pegs are not strong enough. This probably works if you have lots of old carpet or something but just cardboard boxes really didn’t do it.
The idea with rotavating is very similar – you chop everything up and over the winter it rots into the ground. We didn’t do this. It would probably have worked better.
We didn’t try herbicides as we’re TRYING to be organic and not cover our nice veggies with nasty chemicals.
And so we find ourselves in the spring with a garden full of weeds. The only route…manual eradication! Yes, down on our hands and knees pulling up us much as we can, roots and all.
It’s slow, back breaking work. But it’s working. We’re adding in some compost to our very-clay’y (?) soil and it’s actually looking like something might grow in it! In fact, I’m quite encouraged by how much the weeds like the soil!
And our veggies will taste all the better for it!