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The Plot Thickens

Richard Bell’s Wild West nature diary, Spring Bank Holiday Monday,  25th  May 2009

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vegetable patch

AS IF WE haven’t got enough with our own vegetable patch, we’ve taken on a small bed at Barbara’s mum’s where a small greenhouse once stood. Over the last 3 years we’ve dug garden compost into the soil and last year we spread a thick mulch of composted bark over the surface.


The clay soil was originally compacted but now it’s heaped up to 18 inches above its original level and it’s developing a crumb structure. It’s only around the edges that it has remained solid and sticky.


Each year we’ve grown a few potatoes, which has helped break up the soil, while runner beans have added nitrogen, as we leave their roots, with their nitrogen-fixing nodules, in the ground when we cut back the plants at the end of the season.


This year we’ve added a couple of bags of spent mushroom compost and one bag of composted farmyard manure. Just what the soil needs.