COLUMN: The Back Lane Veg Patch

By Alun Callender

The Back Lane Veg Patch is a new garden in Saddleworth. This column is by Andrew Oldham who previously wrote the Life on Pig Row column with his wife Carol.

The Back Lane Veg Patch will focus on growing food and flowers for use in the kitchen and home. As the garden grows, Andrew will be happy to answer gardening questions from readers.


I WILL start a new garden. I look at the lawn and lament the time wasted in walking back and forth with the lawnmower. Even the act of getting the lawnmower ready in spring is one that I will not miss.

I have let the grass grow in the past. I am fond of wildflowers not wild grass.

I will dig up an 80×15 foot lawn to build a vegetable patch producing food for the kitchen.

To start, I dig up the grass into turf squares, roots, soil and all. Turf is a valuable, ask anyone who has used turf to make a new lawn.

This turf though is destined to become loam. I make loam by stacking the turf face to face or grass to grass; a grass sandwich. Then I repeat until the pile is high enough to sit on. It’s then a matter of watering, covering with tarpaulin and leaving to rot down into compost.

Come spring I will have lovely loam that I can use in the veg patch without any need to buy in compost.

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