More bed cleaning
Before and after pictures of today's efforts. I took the top photo yesterday afternoon, the bottom one this afternoon. I managed to clear two beds completely, and to do 2/3 of another and to finish the beetroot bed I started yesterday. The soil was quite easy to work with my long-handled weeding fork, but when I used the proper fork it was a bit too heavy underground.
With the deep beds it is relatively easy to get the weeds out by just loosening them a little with the long-handled weeding fork, then bend and pick them out. For this reason I am thinking of changing my mind and not doing a complete Gertrude Frank Companion planting method, but to use the same system within the beds. But I think I need to edge the beds with timber first.
The plot slopes almost imperceptibly towards the north; and I don't get any sun 'til after lunch. I think this makes the small slope on the back of each bed rather chilly....the plants don't seem to thrive and seem to stay damp. So I am considering partial terracing. I will make plank surrounds (from pallets) to the back 3 sides of the beds and leave the front (south) open. As I dig or weed I will rake the soil towards the north "wall" of each bed. This should level the soil, or even tilt the slope slightly towards the south in each bed. This should help it warm up quicker. Any stones that get raked to the back will be dropped onto the pat behind the wall. The paths will be kept weed free by hoeing as I endeavoured to do this year...mostly successfully.
The potatoes I am chitting are Charlotte and Desiree. I think that the quantity I have of each (30 tubers) would make for 4 rows right across the plot....so 4 of my beds will do for spuds this year. I will take some tubers for using in potato bags starting them off in the polytunnel....for an early crop. The rest will go in the plot as described but I must hunt up some info on how to companion plant them as monoculture doesn't seem to work on my plot. I feel that mixing plants in each bed will be better for the plants.
I hope to spend two hours at the plot again tomorrow....and later in the week will go pallet hunting...