I have recently acquired a fairly large quantity of horse manure, via the Head Gardener (aka Dad) whose village, apparently, has a Dung Day, when local farmers will pitch up with bags of fertilizer which you can buy at a very reasonable price. Et voila – horse manure for my raised beds!
It’s a little bit of last-minute enrichment for the soil here, which I think could do with some help. Last year’s crops were mostly poor and while the weather probably had some part to play, I think the beds have probably been dormant for a while prior to us moving in and the soil may be lacking in nutrients. So I’m hopeful that chucking in a sizeable amount of poo – both horse and chicken – will help them on their way to becoming fertile containers of lush vegetables, fruit and flowers.
As well as digging some of the manure into a currently vacant bed, I also planted my potatoes – ten earlies (Duke of York) have gone into the top bed. These beds are really big (I didn’t make them, I’m just the lucky soul who’s managed to inherit them from the previous owners!) so there’s still a bit of room in it for something else – I think I’ll probably also add some peas or sweet peas in the space that’s left.
So – currently in the beds at the moment:
Bed 1 – potatoes (10 Duke of York)
Bed 2 – empty (+ cloche to warm soil)
Bed 3 – empty (+ cloche to warm soil)
Bed 4 – 2 x raspberry canes planted last year (Autumn Bliss)
Bed 5 – 2 x rhubarb (inherited and moved from a different part of the garden); 4 x young strawberry plants grown from the runners of a large old plant; 6 x raspberry canes (Tulameen and Glen Something) and the re-sprouting Tayberry plant which I thought I had previously removed
Bed 6 – empty (+ generous amount of horse dung)
The Easter holidays are imminent – I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for some good weather to warm the soil so I can start sowing a few more seeds and filling all those empty spaces.