Meanwhile – Back on Home Ground23rd June 2016 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Everything is growing skywards – the weather may bear little resemblance to summer, but the plants are loving it and (as I wrote before) rebuilding the vegetable plot seems to have dramatically reduced the slug and snail population in that part of the garden. Actually, for some unfathomable reason, there generally seem to be fewer in the garden, despite the predictions, and those I have seen have focused on munching the cornflowers to extinction while leaving most other plants untouched.The courgettes and squash growing in the straw bales are very happy – because they are growing in a medium that has remained slightly warm, the cooler wet weather has not affected them.
Next to the straw bales are the beds that I refilled using hugelkultur principles – log base, followed by brushwood, then bark chippings and finally compost and soil. The peas, broad beans, runner beans and sweet peas planted there have all grown at a quite astonishing rate. The broad beans are the best I have ever grown – I started them in pots and planted them out in March and they are now taller than I am and cropping prolifically.
In the greenhouse the tomatoes are flowering their socks of and starting to set the first fruit, while their outdoor blight resistant relatives are rapidly approaching the top of the support posts and I will need to put something taller in.
I’ve never had much luck growing strawberries in the ground or in grow bags so this year I invested in some wrought iron troughs which I have attached to the sturdy handrail (they are heavy) round one of the beds. Slugs, snails and woodlice can get nowhere near them and netting keeps the birds off – resulting in strawberries for breakfast every day.