Elixir Garden Supplies

Free-Delivery-PNG-WHITE

Unfortunately due to a nationwide issue with certain BT handsets and services, we are not able to accept incoming calls.
Please be patient with us and we will be back as soon as we can.

Accessing
The
Vegetables

Moving yourself around crops in a large vegetable garden can be difficult, made even more so if you are carrying heavy tools such as sprayers and picking baskets, or retrieving sprinklers in the mud after watering!

Therefore we have come up with a little guide on how you can make your life easier in the garden or allotment.

My main growing area is divided into a four year rotation with blocks being:

Potatoes Legumes / Sweetcorn and Marrows Brassicas Carrots, Parsnip, Onions and Leeks

Adding Pathways

As you can see with crops such as onions and potatoes next to each other the taller potatoes will easily swamp out onions unless some chicken netting is placed along the outer edge to keep them in check. 

So last year I decided to sacrifice a bit of growing space and install pathways, to break up the rotation beds, how wide they should be and how large the beds should be was the next thing to consider.  

The latter was an easy choice, I went with 3.6 metres wide. This was essentially decided on avoiding multiple cultivator passes to avoid doubling up and overworking the soil.  This width also still allows the centre of the bed to be reached with hand tools.

Eventually after measuring wheelbarrows, hose reels and other garden kit I decided the paths should be .75 metres wide, allowing ample access to the crops.  But what should they be comprised of, Woodchip?  Slate? The options are endless, but for me I wanted it to fit in with the surroundings so grass was chosen for the natural appearance. 

Grass-Path-1
Grass-Path-2

Choosing the right grass

Ryegrass was out of the question as it is just too labour intensive, and growing on the fertility of the veg garden there would be lots of grass cutting to be done!  The grasses eventually chosen was not an off the shelf mix, I went to a specialist supplier who could supply straight cultivars and decided to mix my own. The pathways were to be totally composed of fescues, chosen for low maintenance, durability and wear characteristics. 

I chose three species of fescue:

  • Chewing’s Fescue
  • Sheep’s Fescue
  • Creeping Red Fescue

The first two species grow in tussocks and form the majority of the mix, while the creeping red fescue sown at a much lower proportion stitches the whole thing together.

Finishing and stitching the path

Last October after some of the crops were harvested I had marked out and sown two of the pathways. Although it was getting quite late in the year to be doing this, germination was rapid and the mild winter kept the grass growing nicely.

In early May the grass had established and it was time to mark out the pathways properly, I re-measured the position of the edges, put down a straight line and formed the edges with a half moon.

The root growth on Fescue is huge, and in the short time it had established had already reached the whole depth of a spade – no wonder it is used to stabilise roadside banks!  Where there were a few small bare patches mainly caused through slugs grazing off the seedlings I broke off small patches of turf and ‘stitched’ them in.

The final touches

The finished job!

But not quite…the grass has only been mown twice this year, so the grass choice from this point of view was excellent and achieved the main objective, but was looking slightly yellow due to lack of Nitrogen. 

As the weather was forcasting rain I applied Elixir Spring and Summer Lawn Fertiliser at 35 grams/m2 – although this is lower than recommended my object here was not to get the grass to grow too much!  This fertiliser is a micro granular fertiliser with a really good balance of nutrients for summer grass growth plus Iron which will give the grass a lovely deep green colour.

And this is the grass 9 days and a few showers after application – really pleased with how the colour has changed and it is noticeably starting to thicken out in the sward. 

I’m based in Shropshire, and I’ve been a keen gardener since childhood. Throughout my career I have raised plants commercially, landscaped gardens, taught horticulture, built the odd show garden and managed public parks where I helped popularise the use of wildflowers. My passion has always remained with growing fruit and vegetables in my own garden and looking after my rare breed chickens.

Chris

My main growing area is divided into a four year rotation with blocks being:

Potatoes Legumes / Sweetcorn and Marrows Brassicas Carrots, Parsnip, Onions and Leeks

Adding Pathways

As you can see with crops such as onions and potatoes next to each other the taller potatoes will easily swamp out onions unless some chicken netting is placed along the outer edge to keep them in check. 

So last year I decided to sacrifice a bit of growing space and install pathways, to break up the rotation beds, how wide they should be and how large the beds should be was the next thing to consider. 

The latter was an easy choice, I went with 3.6 metres wide. This was essentially decided on avoiding multiple cultivator passes to avoid doubling up and overworking the soil.  This width also still allows the centre of the bed to be reached with hand tools.

Eventually after measuring wheelbarrows, hose reels and other garden kit I decided the paths should be .75 metres wide, allowing ample access to the crops.  But what should they be comprised of, Woodchip?  Slate? The options are endless, but for me I wanted it to fit in with the surroundings so grass was chosen for the natural appearance. 

Grass-Path-1
Grass-Path-2

Choosing the right grass

Ryegrass was out of the question as it is just too labour intensive, and growing on the fertility of the veg garden there would be lots of grass cutting to be done!  The grasses eventually chosen was not an off the shelf mix, I went to a specialist supplier who could supply straight cultivars and decided to mix my own. The pathways were to be totally composed of fescues, chosen for low maintenance, durability and wear characteristics. 

I chose three species of fescue:

  • Chewing’s Fescue
  • Sheep’s Fescue
  • Creeping Red Fescue

The first two species grow in tussocks and form the majority of the mix, while the creeping red fescue sown at a much lower proportion stitches the whole thing together.

Finishing and stitching the grass

Last October after some of the crops were harvested I had marked out and sown two of the pathways. Although it was getting quite late in the year to be doing this, germination was rapid and the mild winter kept the grass growing nicely.

In early May the grass had established and it was time to mark out the pathways properly, I re-measured the position of the edges, put down a straight line and formed the edges with a half moon.

The root growth on Fescue is huge, and in the short time it had established had already reached the whole depth of a spade – no wonder it is used to stabilise roadside banks!  Where there were a few small bare patches mainly caused through slugs grazing off the seedlings I broke off small patches of turf and ‘stitched’ them in.

The final touches

The finished job!

But not quite…the grass has only been mown twice this year , so the grass choice from this point of view was  excellent and achieved  the main objective, but was looking slightly yellow due to lack of Nitrogen. 

As the weather was forcasting rain I  applied Elixir Spring and Summer Lawn Fertiliser at 35 grams/m2 – although this is lower than reccomended  my object here was not to get the grass to grow too much!  This fertiliser is a micro granular fertiliser with a really good balance of nutrients for  summer grass growth plus Iron which will give the grass a lovely deep green colour.

And this is the grass 9 days and a few showers after application – really pleased with how the colour has changed and it is noticeably starting to thicken out in the sward. 

I’m based in Shropshire, and I’ve been a keen gardener since childhood. Throughout my career I have raised plants commercially, landscaped gardens, taught horticulture, built the odd show garden and managed public parks where I helped popularise the use of wildflowers. My passion has always remained with growing fruit and vegetables in my own garden and looking after my rare breed chickens.

Chris

Share This Blog

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
WhatsApp

Featured Products

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More Info

Call Now Button