Posts Tagged ‘no-dig’

Raising beds, trees and vegetables

Monday, April 4th, 2011

With Spring now on a pogo stick, the clocks sprung forward, and the weather getting warmer by the day, work in the garden is now a dawn-to-dusk priority. It’s become a race to get trees planted and raised beds built before the season overtakes us.

Top terrace raised beds

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Raised beds phase 2

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Having completed the raised beds on the yurt terrace, I’ve moved on to the terrace immediately below the larger of the two buildings. This terrace faces southeast and is the other side of the barroco from the main part of the valley around which the terraces on this part of the quinta wind. While it’s separated from the yurt terrace by a linear distance of only a couple of metres, its extra height and aspect takes it out of the flow of cold air which comes down the valley with the stream. This small change in position is enough to create a 5°C or more difference in air temperature between it and the yurt terrace.

Raised beds, top terrace

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Beds raised, and Springing things

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Things are moving along. The raised beds on the yurt terrace are now substantially complete. Just one more hügelbeet section left to create and the new beds will be ready for their first growing season.

Raised beds, yurt terrace

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Raised beds

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I’ve been wanting to build some raised beds for the vegetable garden. Our experience last year proved that borderless beds were effective to a degree, but we had a lot of casualties at the boundaries despite basing the beds on a double-reach, no-dig principle. With no available mulch material and no difference in level, the proliferation of summer greenery soon blurred the boundaries and we were forever accidently straying into growing areas, so I wanted to distinguish permanent ‘growing areas’ from ‘treading areas’ much more obviously and effectively, especially with moving to a more diverse and mixed companion planting regime, with perennials as well as annuals.

The first year’s conventional-style plantings of annuals served well enough to see what grew well and what didn’t, to monitor the water and light availability across the plot through a growing season, and to gradually clear the soil of its impenetrable tangle of bramble and nettle roots, but it was hardly ‘permaculture’. And as we now have some home-made compost and mulch to add to the beds for the next growing season, I wanted to lay the groundwork for a more sustainable way forward.

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