New Beds, Sowing, Potatoes

Making the most of some decent weather by catching up on the plot. Well behind but we’re getting there.

Raised Bed

New Growing Bed using a re-purposed greenhouse base

When we had our Eden greenhouse there was a bit of mix up on the delivery. We ended up with a steel greenhouse base that wasn’t for our greenhouse. Because it’s heavy Eden decided it wasn’t worth picking back up as the transport costs were more than its value.

I was happy enough to keep it, things often turn out to have an alternative use. So the unwanted greenhouse base is now the edging for a slightly raised bed. I’ve tried beds without edging and they always end up with the soil blending into the path and harder to keep weeded. Quite how the commercial market gardeners manage them, I’m not sure.

Popping the edging together was easy enough, most of the time was spent levelling it so it sat properly. In an ideal world I’d have dug the area over but I don’t want to strain my back. Last thing I need is for that to go again now with the osteopath closed for the duration.

Muck & Molehill Magic

It did get a layer of sheep muck from the mountain and then a mixture of soil from the molehills and compost from the heap. This was then trodden down and given a good soaking to settle everything down. It will get raked over and topped up as needed before being brought into use.

We’ve had quite a bit of mole activity which I’m putting down to improving the pasture quality. This increases the number of earthworms and other bugs that moles like to eat. They’re a bit of a nuisance at times but the soil from their hills is nice and fine to use. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

New Small Brassica Bed

Brassica Cage

Small brassica cage from a mini-polytunnel

I had a mini polytunnel from First Tunnels which decided to try flying in a storm. The power of wind is just amazing. This is not a lightweight cloche, it takes two to carry it! Anyway, it’s going to be covered in windbreak netting to form a brassica cage. Soil preparation was the same as for the greenhouse base bed.

Sowing in Bustaseed Modules

Bustaseed Modules

Sowing in Bustaseed Modules

You may remember I tried out the brilliant Bustaseed system last year. I was really impressed so got another 5 sets, giving me 7 in all. As I’m ramping up production a bit I’m happy I did so. They make transfer from seed tray to soil so easy.

I’m way behind what with everything that’s happened but sowed various brassicas, lettuce, chard and spinach.


Planted up one of the raised beds with Charlotte potatoes. They’re a lovely salad spud and they store well. Used my own stock. Put 18 seed tubers into the 10′ x 4′ bed.


I’ve started chitting my sweetcorn for the polytunnel. I’m going to try some outdoors in the walled vegetable garden as well. The first sweetcorn I tried to grow here in the field plot blew out of the ground in a storm! I’m hoping the shelter of the walled garden will be enough to keep them earthbound..

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
10 comments on “New Beds, Sowing, Potatoes
  1. Rowland Wells says:

    Hi John we have just completed basically he same as you but in timber not steel and filled it with well rotted horse manure because for some reasons we are still unable to go to our allotments

    that soil mix really looks good and should be ideal for growing with all that sheep manure and compost’s

    the soil at our house is good black soil carted there by my Dad and my uncle some 70 years ago because there where previously houses where the garden is and they where demolished but still had footings and clay so they covered the ground with this lovely black soil where it came from is anyone guess

    and until this lock down the ground was used for storing things so we cleared it and put it back to a real garden again i think if it wasn’t for the being house bound the garden would still filled with
    things like slabs bricks and other things now all removed

  2. Rowland Wells says:

    Hi john not sure what your reply means maybe my brains not in gear?

  3. Rowland Wells says:

    now i get your drift short and sweet and of cause again your absolutely rite John its my age don’t you know the the old brain box is not like it used to be

    many thanks

  4. g evans says:

    I thought you were both suffering from cabin fever, or is it all this sunshine that’s effecting us all.

  5. g evans says:

    Yea I’m going to Ourgate this year for a long stand.

  6. Rowland Wells says:

    I’ve already had one trip to ourgarden and it was very relaxing sitting by the fish pond water running a glass of Brixworth wine what could be better

  7. Linda Spencer says:

    Hello John, interesting to see you utilising your mini tunnels as brassicas beds with meshing. The storms we had earlier this year finished off my multi repaired polytunnel. So I ordered some 2m high windbreak on a 50m roll (tunnel is 30 x 20 feet). I now have a great usable area for hardening off plants, growing outdoor veg but in a bit of shelter and also growing early broad beans, very happy with the results so far, it also saves extra watering as it’s open topped.

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