Following on from 'A New Plot', here is another installment of our latest project. One of the issues with such an overgrown area is where to start, there has to be a starting point and really it should spread from there rather than trying to clear too much of it at once. There are areas where I've removed the clumps of couch grass so that it will deprive it of some of its energy sources and so that we can see what we're dealing with (bindweed roots mostly). But as there are 3 large and serviceable raised beds it's made sense to tackle those and see if we can clear them enough to start planting, as I write this we're just starting on the third!
As the main reason for taking this one on in such a hurry was to get some squashes in, it's made sense to do so, apart from an overflow of cauliflower and some runner beans we've found a home for the pumpkins so that they can grow in relative peace. This year's slug predation has been unprecedented from my experience so where I should have half a dozen butternut squash, I have 2 and the same goes for the "Crown Prince". There is a big argument for advocating organic gardening and on that, I'm not going to change, but sometimes it can wear you down when no matter how vigilant you are. One night of some hungry gastropods can wipe out an entire year's crop before it's even started.
As you can see, there is some progress being made with adding some order to the area with a load of woodchip that was delivered making paths around the beds to keep the weeds that we've inevitably missed from making a reappearance. One useful idea that I've employed on my other plot is to have a board that runs the width of the raised beds and prevents you from having to walk on the soil, it makes weeding a lot easier too.
I also acquired a few bags full of conifers from a friend that I intend to make into a low hedge all the way around, I'm hoping that they are of a manageable size but at present have not idea what they are so I may be unpleasantly surprised as they start to put on growth. If anyone has any ideas could you let me know, the picture above is what they currently look like.