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Stones, Woodchips and Seeds

Last weekend, I did a few things in the garden and I’m posting a series of images below with comments to describe what’s going on. You’ll see why stones, woodchips and seeds are the main things on my mind. Here in the UK, the grass is just starting to grow again after winter, and things are starting to move in the garden. My aim is to build a natural, diverse garden and I’m part way through this multi-year project. I’m not an experienced gardener, I’m learning little bits from friends and the web, and then just using instinct. In fact, it’s using instinct that’s the most fun. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun.

Also in the UK at the moment, as in the rest of the world, it’s coronavirus disruption time. We’re trying to stay at home almost exclusively, so gardening is a good pastime and a good form of exercise, but I’m a bit worried to see so many people disregarding the instructions of the government. That’s sad. 

Ok, let’s see what happened last weekend. (click on any of the images to see them full-size)

stony patch of ground

You might remember this patch of ground from my post on Stinging Nettles (see links at the bottom of this article). Nothing has grown over winter, but new growth is just starting. As I walk over this area, I notice more stones, so now is the time to try and collect as many of them as I can so they don’t damage my scythe when I cut the grass soon.

the grass is starting to grow

Here’s a patch of ground just near this stony area (that round hatch is the access point to the underground rainwater tank) and you can see that the grass really is starting to grow now.

stones

Often I notice what looks like a small stone, but it’s a bit like an iceberg. There can be quite a large stone below the surface.

wheelbarrow of stones

Really have collected quite a lot of stones from this small patch of ground.

a big stone

This is one of the biggest stones I pulled out of the ground.

stone pile

As I’ve been getting lots of stones out of the ground (when planting trees for example) in the past couple of years, I’ve been building up a stone pile along with some old tree stumps. I’m hoping this becomes an interesting place for a variety of wildlife.

tayberry vine

The next problem to deal with is the grass invasion around the bushes and trees that I planted last year. There was grass based mulch around them (you can see the remnants), but new live grass and other weeds are moving in. This is a Tayberry bush I planted last year.

cleared around the tayberry bush

So I clear away the grass and weeds as best I can.

woodchips in wheelbarrow

Then I get some woodchips that resulted from the tree and hedge trimming that took place last year. It’s good to keep organic matter from my own garden and to put it back in.

woodchips around the bush

Now the Tayberry bush has a layer of woodchips around it. This has the combined effect of helping to keep the grass away and to add nutrients to the soil.

grass and weeds around raspberry bush

But there’s plenty more to do. Here there is a gooseberry bush (planted last year) that has quite a bit of grass and weeds moving in.

woodchips and weeds

So I crack on with it.

woodchips around fruit bushes

There are lots of fruit bushes in this area. Raspberry, Gooseberry, Loganberry and Tayberry, all planted last year. I hope they’ll grow well this year.

weeds in the green waste bin

Even though I could compost the grass and weeds I’ve removed, I prefer to just get the weeds off my property, so I put them in the Green Waste bin (the company who collects these makes compost out of it for farmers).

fruit trees needing woodchips

And I have a bunch of young fruit trees (this one is a cherry) that need some weeding and then protection with woodchips.

woodchips around fruit trees

Getting a good layer of woodchips around these young fruit trees.

fig tree with woodchips

This is the newest addition to the fruit trees. It’s a fig tree. I hope it becomes a lovely tree in the next few years. It now has a nice layer of woodchips around it.

woodchips around everything now

So I’ve cleared weeds and put woodchips around all the fruit trees and fruit bushes.

woodchips around everything

Another view.

tray for planting seeds

The next task s to get some seeds planted (and hope I can get them to grow). Firstly I’m going to use this tray.

seeds sitting on the soil

Added a layer of seed soil with a bunch of chilli seeds sitting on it.

seeds covered

The seeds are now covered with a fine layer of soil.

seed tray in position

Positioned this seed tray in the warmest part of the greenhouse.

watering the seeds

And giving them some water. All the water I use here is coming from the rainwater tank (even though the UK has had so much rain recently, that doesn’t really matter at the moment)

more seeds

Next step was to try using this plastic plug tray. Putting one seed per plug, I’ve put three more varieties of chilli and a bunch of tomato seeds in here.

more seeds in position

And I’ve put this tray of seeds up on the shelf where it’s warmer as well.

greenhouse heater

One of the recent additions to the greenhouse is this heater (it’s electric but running on renewable energy). It has a thermostat and I’m using it to ensure the temperature in the greenhouse doesn’t go below 10ºC

weed growing out of bag

Another interesting image. The seed soil I used came from a bag I bought from the garden centre. Before I opened it, I noticed this little weed growing out of one of the small holes. I hope the seeds I’ve just planted grow so well.

So that’s it for last weekend. I have two large garden beds in preparation with lots of mulching going on last year. I’m hope to get a variety of crops going in these this year. But, as I said, I’m not an experienced gardener and I’m hoping that nature will help me out and we’ll get something to grow. It’ll all be fun anyway.

garden beds

A view of my two large garden beds waiting for crops.

Related Links – Stones, Woodchips and Seeds

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