Thursday, 12 April 2007

Who needs a gym when you can do double digging!!!!Nearly six hours of it, but another bed has been done. Three in total now, 115cm wide and 300cm long. Had nice chat with neighbours regarding soil- very good, although I find it back breaking and pollination-very reassuring. Anna also had a lovely time sitting in the tree and communication with the pheasants. Not sure who is noisier. Anna made her first cup of tea this morning and was so pleased with her skill that I had three in the morning and nil in the afternoon. Tidied up the plot, taking rope and sticks away and putting left over grass strips on the compost heap. Have now found the lid of compost bin, it was by the side of the garage. Last task of the day was to water trees, since it was very hot today and will again be tomorrow, for tonight we are expecting frost though.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

11th of April 2007
Planted my apple trees this afternoon. I have added a bucket of compost and two handfuls of Bone Meal to each hole before planting the trees. Not sure if Bone Meal is organic, must check up on this! Hammering the stakes in with a large stone was quite a challenge. So that the ties don't rub so much on the stem I have done them in a figure of eight. Very pleased with my work! To settle them in I have also given each a bucket of water and will do so for the rest of the week.
Also planted my garlic and started on double digging my third bed. Taken my husbands advice not to overdo it I only did 1/5 and then went for long soak in the bath.
Did a certain amount of research and found out that Bramleys are triploids and therefor require two other apple trees either within the same group or one either way for pollination. Katy also not the best will do and with a bit of luck there may be another apple tree not too far away to help with pollination, otherwise I better get another tree soon.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

10th of April 2007

Have started a new compost heap, by reusing the compost bin left by previous resident. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the lid, so I will cover it up with some cardboard.

Had lovely time yesterday in various garden centers looking at fruit trees. After a long discussion with my mother in law, I went back today to the garden centre nearest to us, which seems to have the biggest selection, although it is quite small.

I decided to buy two apple trees and plant them asap, before it gets to hot!!! I am slightly worried that the soil will dry out and I will be unable to water them regularly, but if I wait until October it will already be cold and wont give the tree a chance to settle in. The apple trees bought were Bramley on M26, a cooker and Katy a dessert apple also on M26. Pollination might be a problem and I will definitely soon have to buy another eating apple tree to pollinate the other one. The garden center recommended Discovery. Not that worried regarding pollination this summer, at least the trees will have a chance to settle in. Generally pollination may be a problem since the site is very exposed, but some of my neighbours seem to be OK.Would have liked to have bought a Morello cherry tree, but the only ones they had, although very beautiful, were on the wrong rootstock. They promised to order me one. Staff very helpful and together we managed to get them and two posts in the rather small car. Not much room left for Anna. Tonight the two trees are outside in a sheltered spot, sitting in a lot of water and waiting to be planted tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

First Post

This is my first summer is Scotland, after moving up here in February. We now have two and a half acres of garden with a gorge and nine acres of paddock. The site is very exposed and it can be extremely windy. Where to start? Here is the very first cut of the soil last year, with Rosemary providing both wisdom and muscles. The beds will be set out south to north; with two running parallel and not too wide. At the side I hope to plant some fruit trees. The first bed was properly double dug, with my mother in laws help.

October: Have now received wonderfull spade and gardening fork, which were presents from my parents in law. This will make the double digging easier!!! Unfortunately it is too wet and wild to try them out.

December: Gardening implements still sitting in the garage. In an attempt to burn of some calories I have started to dig over the next bed. Since nobody is watching and I am lazy I have only dug it over the once! Ground very wet and the bed we dug over in the Summer is still under water after the terential rains in October-not a good start. I have also dug three deep holes for the fruit trees near the fence next to the gorge. I am a bit worried that I dug them to close too the fence and that most of my fruit will end up in the gorge!

March: Have just dug over first bed again and planted the Shallots given to me by my mother in law. Have also dug over the second bed, which took a lot of effort since I didn't do it properly before. The lesson here is- do it properly the first time around!!! Following my experts advice I have covered the Shallots with some netting, although the birds do not seem that interested in them. Too many other things to eat around here.Shallots are taking up only half the bed so in the other half I will be planting the garlic I bought in the supermarket, which I have not used.