The new vegetable plot is now as stuffed full of promising things as is possible in a first year. There are plenty of weeds too but we left reasonably wide strips between the veg beds so on really calm days we can put round up over the worst of these. The strawberries, tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers are growing through plastic sheeting which will obviously help with the weeds and the potatoes have such a wonderful amount of leaf that the weeds are more or less in the dark. The raspberries for some reason seem to be weed free for the moment. The peas on the other hand, well, let's just say it's hard to tell where the weeds finish and the peas begin!
I didn't realise until we started work on this new piece of land just how well cultivated the first plot is. For a start the soil just looks better in the old plot. It seems to be much more crumbly and easier to dig. It's also much easier to put tomatoe spirals into as I discovered this morning when I tried to put three more into the new plot. They went down about 8 inches after a lot of prodding around and putting my full weight on the spiral. I then did the same in the old plot and nearly buried the entire spiral as it just went in so easily!
Of course the old plot has had masses and masses of farmyard manure worked into it over the past ten years. I do wonder if that means that the new plot won't give such a good yield of veg and fruit but so far we've had a fabulous crop of early strawberries and there are already small fruits on the tomatoes. And the spuds will be ready soon - I had a poke around this morning and there are plenty of little ones just under the soil.
It's a lot of work starting a new vegetable plot from scratch and I know that I took a lot of shortcuts so I will suffer more weeds than I should but on the whole I think I am well pleased. Previously this piece of land had been a pasture for sheep and cattle; I suppose now it's the same, but for us.