Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘damson’

Fedges and Permaculture beds.

In permaculture, sustainable living on April 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

Having recently been given a bunch of rooted Willow we decided to use it to make a fedge to form the outline for a new permaculture bed. A fedge is a cross between a fence and a hedge, usually constructed from Willow. Spring is the best time to do this as the Willow will root easily at this time. If you have plants or rooted Willow it can be done anytime.  We spaced the rods the length of Andy’s foot apart but they can be as little as 6 inches apart if you want a more solid barrier.

 

It was grey and showery when we did the fedge last Sunday but we persevered and got it done.

 

After inserted all the rods we just bent the tops over about a foot from the ground and wove them together. There are many designs you can make, arches, diamonds etc. As this was our first fedge we decided to keep it simple. The whole thing was a bit fragile at first but when all the weaving was done and a few strategically placed bits of string were used the whole thing stabilised. A website with lots of ideas and more comprehensive instructions is www.willowkits.co.uk .

Next step was to make the permaculture bed between the existing path and the edge of the fedge. The sod does’nt need to be turned… on top of the grass just lay down several layers of newspaper and cardboard. Make sure they are overlapped well so no grass or weeds come through. Remove any staples and plastic tape which may be holding the boxes together. On top of this layer we put a good thick mulch of rushes. Straw can also be used.

When the mulching is finished planting holes can be made in the cardboard/paper and plants planted straight in. In other beds we have made this way plants have been planted first, then the cardboard and mulch layers placed around the plants. On this occasion we will let the mulch settle a little before planting. There is already an established Damson here and a small Amelanchier has also been planted. In true permaculture style everything in this bed will be perennial food crops…herbs and fruits plus a few flowers for colour and for the insects. Willow itself is a great plant for biodiversity as it supports over 250 species. Over time this mulch will rot down and provide nutrition for the plants and improve the soil. It will need renewing each year.

Production and growth @ Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, sustainable living on April 18, 2011 at 8:02 am

3 Cauliflowers ready for harvesting.

There has been incredible growth in the last week. We were away from Tuesday to Saturday but it felt more like 2 weeks from the growth spurt that occured. Cauliflower to cook, cauliflower to freeze and more to come.

Tomato plants.

The Tomatoes are ready for planting out. I’m sure they grew a few inches last week! These will be planted in the small tunnel later in the week. They will be fed with farmyard manure, dug in under each plant at planting time, later when the first trusses have set they will get a weekly feed of a nettle and comfrey liquid fertiliser which we make ourselves. The farmyard manure as well as feeding the plant also helps to retain moisture.

Early Potatoes.

The Potatoes planted in sacks on St. Patrick’s Day have come on well. Today I will top up with more compost to encourage more Potatoes to form on the stems.

Damson in flower.

Yippee, at long last the Damson is flowering. I’m really pleased about this as I grew this tree from a stone of a wild Damson which grows locally. That was about 6 years ago, so, yes, patience does pay off. Much more gratifying than buying a tree from the garden centre ready to go.

Mrs. Perry in bloom!

This little tree I bought 2 years ago, it was just a whip. It is called Mrs Perry and I bought it on a visit to Irish Seed Savers in Clare. It is a self-rooter so I might take some cuttings from it in the Autumn. The fruit is dual-purpose and ripens in September, apples said to be very juicy and the tree is an abundant cropper.