Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Things to be doing now in the veg plot...

Hello all!

I have not been posting much as I have been up to my (compost-y, educator-y ) ears in work outside and in...

I have been very busy having meetings, writing publicity, session plans, risk assessments and brochures, incvestigating web pages etc for my (rapidly expanding) Forest School/Environmental play sessions, chicken keeping and composting courses and running after school Eco Clubs. Which is really great BUT...means I have very little free time to blog about it all...

But .....I DID think a post on what I am doing in the garden now would be a good idea...and I have had several emails asking me if it is time to do this, or that..so I thought an open forum answer would probably be a good idea!

So....I am continuing to earth up the potatos....this is where you scrape soil around the emerging green shoots and leaves (don't cover the leaves completely though!) ..to encourage roots ( which will grow baby potatoes) to emerge from the stem.

You do the same thing with other members of the Solanum family (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines) by burying them up to the seed leaves in their final resting place...sometimes you can see the stem roots, especially on tomato plants.

I have also just planted out my Dwarf French bean plants ( under a plastic mini polytunnel, but more as anti chicken protection!) and the mange tout and pea plants (they are protected by pea sticks so hopefully won't get pecked....)

I have also planted out the first courgette plants in the compost filled 2 x 2 m raised bed under 5 l bottle cloches...

I am harvesting lots of scrummy salads from the PT and have planted more salad seeds, peas, mange tout to extend my harvest season and replace the ones I am now eating...

The first new potatoes from the PT are ready..mmmmmm

In the veg plot I am successionally sowing Carrots now and have transplanted the Celeriac plants, and have sown Kohl Rabi, more Spring Onions and more brassicas in seed pots..the Leek and earlier brassica seedlings are doing well and will be planted out in the next few weeks.

I am potting on smaller Pepper, Aubergine and Tomato plants to sell at the gate, I have been planting out these plants in the PT in their final "big pots" (builders buckets with holes in the bottom!)in my home made growing medium.

I am also potting on peppers, aubergines, tomatos, salads, beans and peas for another Eco Club plant stall tomorrow...

AND digging out the compost from the bins, to fill the bean raised beds...and to mulch the potato patch as the haulms grow...

Sorry about the lack of photos..I forgot to take out my camera today...!

oh...and weeding..of course!


  1. I've only dared plant out one tomato plant so far. We have so much trouble with slugs in the garden - it's a kind of tester. If that survives, others will follow.

    But because of slugs, I've planted it higher out of the ground than you recommend here. Now I'm wondering if, once the stem has toughened, whether I should pile earth round it at that point? Or will that be too late? What do you think?

    In other ways, it's nice to see comparisons. I don't grow as wide a variety of vegetables as you but . . . compost came out of the bin today . . . runner beans went up to the allotment this morning, ready to be planted out, we pulled the shallots (or something like that)earlier today and the early potoatoes are ready.

    Things moving . . . things at risk . . . a nerve racking time of year. I'm glad we no longer have absolutely to rely on what we are able to grow for ourselves.


  2. I should have made it clearer mary..the potatos are outside but the tomatos, peppers, aubergines are inside the poly tunnel...

    Its really a bit early to be putting tomato plants outside without protection...tomatos need a minimum of 10 C to grow...lower will check them...

    But the answer to your question is yes, you can pile up soil around the stems later on as well..and indeed you will often see stem roots forming abouve the soil level on tomato plants.

  3. Oh!

    I think the temperature will be ok though. (Fingers crossed.)


  4. I keep thinking about potatoes; no room this year. Maybe if I plant fewer tomatoes next year, potatoes could go in. Or peppers. I went overboard with peppers.


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.