Saturday, 16 August 2014

the renovation begins

I decided not to go with the idea of raised beds.

Before I could start anything, I had to tidy away bags of rubbish left over from the demolition of the old shed. I have reluctantly tucked it all beside and behind the shed, until the skip and bonfire season arrives. I was trying to avoid this, as for me, out of sight really is out of mind.

 I am keeping the two gooseberry bushes that weren't so badly affected by the mysterious dying back.  I am sure that they, with the currants and the three new jostaberry bushes, will be enough for our future berry requirements.

After hoiking out the four surplus gooseberry bushes, I toiled up the hill with five barrow loads of very fine soil improver.

The trouble with buying it from the trading hut is that, because it is only open Saturday and Sunday for two hours, you have to buy it all at once.  Which means you have to find a place to put it while you dig the bed over.  Ideally I would like to dig an area, go get a barrow of improver, scatter it in then move on to the next square metre and repeat, but I haven't got the time to do that before the shop shuts until next week.

So I have to move piles of soil about the place trying not to forget about the bit of ground underneath the pile of soil improver.

I have moved the border planks to create a new border parallel to the fence, allowing access to the back of the bed.  Nothing much grows very well there, I'm not sure why ... waterlogging? Poor soil? Too shady? The easiest solution is just don't plant there.

 I need to dig it all over incorporating the soil improver as I go.  Ideally it should be double dug, but I haven't got the energy for that.
It is quite a large bed, I might have to break it up into two smaller, more manageable beds

These are the two old apple trees whose future is in doubt.  The one on the left is the better of the two.  The tree on the right has no lower leaves, and those leaves it has, are darker and more marked with lesions of some kind.  There is no fruit on for a second year as again, I took them all off (there weren't many) because the apples were so damaged and distorted.

I feel I need to justify my decision to remove the tree, because I feel quite guilty about it.  Could I have done more to improve it? I feel like a bad I taking this too much to heart? After all, it is only a tree and an unproductive one at that.

On a more cheerful note, the blackberries are starting to ripen and they didn't have caterpillars in...well, only one or two...

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