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OUT IN THE GARDEN: No need to stoop anymore

David contacted me a few weeks ago now after finding my card in a phone box. Now, before your mind starts to run to all the wrong conclusions, I can confirm that I have never owned nor operated a specialist massage service. Those cards belong to someone else who just happens to share my surname, and for the record I have no idea how my business card found its way into a public telephone box!

David, like many people, has quite elderly relatives and his parents, who were both keen gardeners, were finding it increasingly hard to enjoy it and he wanted to know what he could do to help them.

He could remember as a child his dad tending his vegetable crop like a proud expectant father. Fast forward 40 odd years and the once immaculate vegetable bed has gone and has now been replaced with a shingle and stone patio.

A raised vegetable bed (45660608)
A raised vegetable bed (45660608)

I scratched my head for a bit as it was itchy and told David that he could always invest in a raised vegetable bed. These raised beds stand on legs and raise the soil to a level where you don’t have to bend or stoop over. Best of all, these free standing beds are perfectly at home on a patio.

Most garden centres carry these vegetable containers and for around £100 including vegetable plants and compost you could restore your father’s proud expectant grin.

At Baytree we carry the Langford planter and this is the one that I heartily recommended.

I told David that putting the planter together really wasn’t difficult – anyone with basic DIY skills could assemble it in less than an hour.

Once you have the frame built, line the planter with a weed control fabric.

This liner will stop the soil from falling through any small cracks and spaces in the planter.

It is important also with a raised planter such as this to ensure there is adequate drainage for the soil so it is always a good idea to add blocks of polystyrene to the bottom of the container. This will allow water to drain and it means that the container will not be full of heavy compost.

Jacks Magic, which is an all-purpose compost, mixed with a little well-rotted farmyard manure, would form a perfect soil into which your father could grow his vegetables.

At this time of the year it is not difficult to get vegetable plug plants so it’s just a case of heading to your nearest garden centre and choosing what you want. The great thing about plug plants is that they are already fully formed.

They are not quite hardy yet as April can still be a little cold but with a little care your plants will thrive.

I didn’t hear back from David for a couple of weeks and I began to think the worst. Then this morning I received this photo.

I hope that come the summer when we are allowed to meet other people that I might get an invite from David’s father to taste some of his produce.

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