Sunday, 28 April 2013

RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture

I am chuffed to say that I got the Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 Diploma on Friday.  Bit of a faff getting it but it shows me that I am working at a fairly good level of knowledge.  I am taking the RHS  level 3 practical gardening course at the moment, which is very enjoyable.  I might take the first part of the theory in February next year.

I went up to the old allotment this morning and decided to finish off digging the green manure into the brassica bed.  And this with a bad back!  The soil here is so light and friable that it took no effort but I am still feeling it now.

After digging, I put in a row of swede.  The ground had been walked over when I had watered the cauliflowers and cabbages so it did not need consolidating.  I put the garden line about 12 inches from the line of cabbages and used the cultivator, hoe and rake to make a fine tilth.  The hoe was used to take out a drill about 2 cm deep.  They say that the depth of the drill should be about twice that of the seed, however if you mess about worrying about the depth of the drill you would never get any seeds sown.  I plant all my seed at about this depth and they all seem to germinate.  Dilute comfrey liquid was put along the drill to dampen the soil.  The swede seeds were sown when the comfrey liquid had soaked in.  I covered the seeds with a rake and tamped them down.  It is easier to use the right angled rake rather than the rounded tinned rake to do this.  The ground was raked again to make it look pristine.

I  used the rake to measure about 12 inches from the swede line and put the garden line in again for the kohl rabbi.  Then again for the turnips.  They were sown in exactly the same way as the swedes.  Dig a hole and bung them in.

I like to rake the soil where I have been walking to make it look tidy.

Went up to the "leaves" bed and planted some dill and comfrey.  These will be used to make herb teas in the summer.  The Hamburg parsley was planted next to the Boltardy beetroot, which has germinated already.

Finally, I went down to where the pumpkin, oca, tomatoes, sweet corn, courgettes, cucumbers and when I sow them squash will be planted.  I had put some well rotted compost onto the soil and wanted to mix it in.  I used the Mantis Tiller to do this.  With the tiller it took me about 20 minutes.  I do like to have a good fork, however it would have taken me a lot longer particularly with my bad back.

Terry had given me some summer fruiting raspberries and healed them in so I needed to put these into a big pot before I could do any thing.  I also moved the cold frame towards the back of this bed.

Took some left over pea, cabbage and onion seedlings down to the new allotment together with the raspberries.

I planted the raspberries right down at the bottom of the new allotment.  I used up the last of the mychorrhizal fungi in the planting holes.  I don't have any comfrey liquid down at the new allotment so I watered them in with just water.

I planted all the seedlings just in time for the rain to come.  I couldn't have organised it better myself.  So I just have a few seeds to put in at the new allotment and then I am waiting for the seedlings in the greenhouse to get big enough to be put outside.

Tomorrow, I will be at Shrugborough walled garden doing a bit of work.


  1. Congratulations on your Diploma and watch that back! I have back problems and I know how painful and annoying it can be but you must take care.
    Thanks for sharing.