Friday, 30 May 2014

Planting up raised beds

...or "How to decide what to grow". The plan for the garden always included lots of pots on shelves and in a greenhouse but when it came to the raised beds themselves, I wanted to take advantage of their size to grow more substantial plants that would also cover the fences in time. My idea is to create a wall of green that the dining table and outdoor sofa both nestle in front of. I want the garden to feel like a haven, like a private green retreat in the middle of town as opposed to the sparse and rather dead space it feels like now. 
Measuring spaces between seedling bushes

So when I was choosing what to plant, I decided to go for soft fruit in the raised beds. In my quest to grow as much edible stuff as possible in my tiny urban garden, I wanted to ensure that I made the most of my crops by growing expensive foods rather than things like onions that I can buy relatively cheaply. I'm lucky that most of the garden is south-facing so growing sweet berries shouldn't be too hard. When you only have 32m² (that's 349 for my American friends), every inch counts. 

So I decided upon the following:
- One fan-trained plum tree (Marjorie's seedling)
- Six raspberry canes (Tadmor and Chemanius so that I'll have berries through the end of Summer and autumn)
- Two Japanese wineberry bushes
- Three blackthorn bushes for the north facing fence (both for the security they offer and also the delicious sloes they produce)
- One climbing Kiwi (in this case, Jenny)
- One Tayberry (Buckingham)
- Two thornless blackberry bushes (Loch ness and Oregon)
Planting the young bushes and erecting the support for the plum tree
As you can see, when they arrived I measured out the distances between them carefully. They look a puny at the moment but once they're established in about two years time, I hope that they'll have spread enough to cover the fences completely with delicious fruit and we should be harvesting kilos of fruit. Which is good, because my addiction to soft fruits costs us a fortune every year. 
The raised beds, more or less planted up

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