We grow a wide range of produce including vegetables , herbs, salads, soft fruit, hard fruit, edible flowers, cut flowers and microgreens. All our produce are grown using organic methods using open pollinated varieties to encourage bees and butterflies and biological nemotodes for pests.
As well as growing traditional high yielding varieties we like to grow heritage types along side for better flavours and unusual collections including Oca, Chinese Artichokes, Mashua, Goji Berries and Vietnamese Coriander to keep our customers trying new things.
This was the only area ready to grow when we began, a large rectangle of ploughed ground . We set out a large quad for vegetable rotation of roots , brassicas, legumes and salads with 2 smaller beds towards the perimeter for annual herbs and a large 5m wide strip along the bottom for cut flowers.
We raked the soil and trampled the earth to form the paths. We sowed direct in successions of 2 and 4 weeks depending on the crop and used hazel sticks with the top split cut to write the labels.
We fed the soil with manure , chicken pellets and seaweed, although we are not registered organic we follow those principals in all areas of production in the garden.
That autumn we turf cut new beds for soft fruit and used the turf to replace the earth paths .
During the winter of 2017 we have heavily mulched the beds with a green waste compost and are reverting to a no dig bio intensive approach to increase production on a commercial scale. We have also grown the Brassicas through mypex to minimize time spent weeding and erected a large netted enclosure to ward off the caterpillars.
This year ( 2018) we are trialing biodegradable organic roll for the onions and leeks to combat the weeds and green manures as cover crops and to add to to our compost system(see future posts to see if it works).
This would have been the original dipping pond. It is important for us to be able to use this water rather than being reliant on mains. After a clear out of weeds and some repairing to the overflow pipe the pond has gradually filled up. Water pipes remain albeit damaged that come from the stream running adjacent to the garden. The next small project is to redirect rainwater from greenhouses into the pond and to look at small water pumps to lift water out of the pond.
Original dipping pond
A couple of before during and after photos of the entrance and main path.
We discovered early on that the garden was a parallelogram. Shaped so that every wall at some point during the day gets sun. At first we had presumed it was a rectangle and went to mark out the 1st bed using the greenhouse wall to measure off and couldn’t work out why it wasn’t square. A full survey and two days of measuring later we had the accurate plan of the parallelogram of the garden. This realization made it important to realign the main entrance path so to square the middle of the garden thus meaning we could set out all the new beds square from the centre .
The existing hardcore path was moved to its new position with the help of a mini digger and old edging stones found in the garden were used to edge the entrance beds. The entrance beds are now planted with small leaved limes for pleaching Box balls, Lavender Hidcote, Euphorbias and Verbena Bonsarensis, under planted with Queen of the Night Tulips and Allium Purple sensation.
It was important for us to enjoy the space and to have a good working environment. The area appeared to be the remains of an old greenhouse that had long gone but a massive amount of smashed glass covered the area. We raked a huge amount up but aside from sieving the soil we decided to cover it and use as a hard standing. We have planted some of the area with nectarines and peaches along the front edge of the remains of the greenhouse wall and kiwis and figs along the back wall using the existing wires
old greenhouse remains
Re-establishing edges to paths made sense for the immediate entrance, somewhere to sit, have lunch and appreciate the garden was an added benefit.