Mulch meister

artur sun kicksI’ve just checked all my most recent posts, and I haven’t bombarded you with too many over cute pictures of Artur of late. So here’s one for starters.

He is a one for lying just where I want to work.   But I’m delighted to have him stalking about the lower potager where I was working.

Actually I suspect he’s just waitng for the catmint (nepeta six hills giant) plants to come up as he loves to roll on them.   But I haven’t pruned the sharp stalks of last year’s growth yet, so he can’t get at the new green leaves.   But I will try to get round to it this week. You can’t have the old fella deprived of his fun. mulched quardrants

My fun was a furious bout of hoeing, then a calm time on my knees putting all the weeds in a bucket. Then raking, and then joy of joys – mulching.   I usually wait until the cosmos comes up, but I don’t have time. I want things neat and tidy and ready for the off.

file mulched quardrantI only have enough mulch to cover one full quadrant of the potager now.   But I managed to hammer in the central poles quite firmly in the middle. And I must remember to mark out where I want the leek swoosh in the central part of each part.

And I have made a start on the always planned never remembered bean trench around each of the central squares. This involves excavating an alarmingly large hole all around the centre, digging out the soil. And then topping up with home made compost and filling it all in. Fuel for the hungry beans in the growing season.

It takes forever to do the compost bit as I have to riddle it first. I have too much solid matter still in the lovely compost which bulks it out well, but isn’t necessary. bean trench

So once that messy bit is done I’m ready to hide all sins.   But I only managed one quadrant with this bean trench.

Naturally I realised after I had put all the mulch down that I wanted to do a quick liming of this particular area – this is where the cabbage is to go and they never thrive here. Either because I leave them too long in their little pots, or because of poor soil, lack of water, too many grubs eating the plant, marauding cabbage moth butterflies; it’s impressive how many things can get between you and your food.

more parsnipsNo such trouble with the parsnips.   I have dug up another wheelbarrow load.   What on earth am I going to do with them all?

In the afternoon I got stuck into some mulching of a different sort. Noisy chipping of the sticks that are collecting in the parking area in front of the house.

Now this is fun. You can still hear the crime drama on the mp3 player under the headphones, and you get instant results. half mulched calabert

I have mulched the box balls under the wisteria and made inroads on the calabert bed. I’ll need a few more hours of feeding the chipping beast before I can be satisfied that the flower beds will stay weed free. It’s an incredible weed suppressant and soil improver.   It keeps moisture in, and plants happy.   Invented by Canadians who wanted to find a use for all the small branches left over after forestry clearing. Here in France they call it BRF.   Bois Rameal Fragmente.   But we just call it woodchips and wonder stuff.