Well its been a while…………………bad weather, not having any free time (just as we enter the busy time) and general seasonal ill heath have colluded to keep me off radar!!
Anyway – work got started in the spring sun last week and will hopefully get going apace. Storm Doris caused a fair amount of damage here – about 2 weeks work or more – two fences that needed replacing have moved up the list, a gate post was broken off and needs replacing and some debris needs shifting. The poly tunnel survived, just, it was moving up and down by a good 12 inches in the most intense part of the storm, and I had to brace the plastic at the bottom.
This shows the place where the gate post broke off – a quick temporary fence was built-in the hole ( I was driving posts in during the 70mph gusts!!) – this needs replacing as it’s the link into the orchard field where the geese hang out.
Anyway onwards…………….its been pretty slow to start off here, but some things have happened.
I’ve dug out my old wormerys and set them up outside the polly (they can be moved in during winter). Some 10+ years ago I had these working to support the allotment, but felt their contribution would be too small here. Having relented and thought they are useful for kitchen scraps I dug them out – bought some worms to kick them off – and now they seem to be going great!! Only a few escapees to date!!
Inside the polly I have taken the decision to not plant tomatoes there this year – instead I am going for large crops to create a surplus for freezing. Here are two rows of peas, about 60 feet long. Learning from last year, and the failure of seeded crops due to our small furry friends I have used plastic over the seed This will also warm up the ground and help germination. The plastic is the stuff you get in rolls from Wilkinsons for decorating -£4 for 50 metres – cheap and reusable if used carefully.
Also as a way of keeping the seeds from our furry friends I have started to build some hanging shelves in the polly to place seed trays on.
Outside in the allotment a 50 foot row of broad beans has been planted with a covering of plastic – we will see how that goes. The PSB you can see to the left has been eaten all winter by pigeons and is sadly not best placed to provide some nice blue florets!! Keeping birds off will be a major aim this year.
Chickens are healthy (as are Geese), both groups laying very well. As you can see they are out and about with the bird flu threat having receded. They are enjoying life a good deal better now.
This is the chicken cage now – a sloped metal frame with small chicken wire and plastic netting covered with a tarpaulin. Inside is their food, water and coop. Around the outside is an electric fence if we need to lock them down whilst giving them some space to run around outside. The casually laid paving slabs are a god send and stop the ground becoming a mud fest.