Last year I grew a remarkable amount of squash and pumpkins in the field plot. It’s a difficult growing area due to the winds which we ‘enjoy’ here. The shelter beds of trees are taking their time to grow and crops like climbing beans or sweetcorn are impossible on this side. They just blow over!
Last year the grass was cut and covered with cardboard and a small amount of green waste. Then planting places were made by just digging holes and filling them up with compost from the heap.
Next the area was covered with landscape fabric and the squash planted through that. The fabric prevented weed growth, so it was the easiest crop I’ve ever grown. Literally just plant and forget until harvest time.
When the covers came off, well to be honest blew off in the winter storms, the soil underneath was improved and quite spongy to walk on. It appears the worms have been working hard under the cover.
This year I have a mountain of sheep muck from my neighbour’s lambing shed which I’m using to further improve the beds. Bringing the muck from the mountain to the bed a wheelbarrow at a time is long task but we got around that problem with some help from my neighbours.
They came down with their 4×4 and 2 tonne tipper trailer. Loaded it up high with manure and then drove it around to the bed and tipped it out. Just to be clear, we never got near to each other. Although we’re all in good health, you just can’t know for sure that someone hasn’t got the coronavirus and is spreading it. Being paranoid is a good way to keep safe.
The next job was to mow the grass which is growing fast in the field. The grass clippings were dumped on top of the manure. So the soil is covered by cardboard, a layer of manure and then grass clippings. I’ll give it a good soaking and then cover with landscape fabric through which I’ll plant the squash.
Next year the soil will be further improved and should be really good for planting potatoes. If I can I’ll do the same further up from these beds to bring more land into production. Although I don’t need to at the moment I’ve a feeling that it may be needed next year.