It’s been a week of digging. Digging. And more digging.
It may only be January, but things on the plot are technically behind schedule. We didn’t get as much ground preparation done as we should have in the autumn, and there is a lot of ground to cover.
The walled garden, where I have been grafting this week is 15m x 15m, and has about 60sqm of planting space. What is known as “The Allotment” is a third of an acre, with a possible 300sqm of planting area. If we use 200sqm of it I’ll be happy. So yeah, a way to go. 200sqm+ to go, to be exact.
It’s pretty addictive seeing the improvement as I go. Looking carefully there are early signs of spring; wild garlic peeking through, chives appearing, mint making an appearance and daffodils braving the wind. In total, 198 garlic bulbs were planted, 65 strawberry plants were saved and repositioned, and 6 blackcurrant bushes got a new home. I lost count of the chives I split and replanted, and the mint… well, that marches to its own tune.
The wind has taken its toll on the net tunnel, and on one of the polytunnels. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a bit of ingenuity, though! Tape sorted the polytunnel.
And it’s not just me working hard. Whilst I have been working outside, Jane has been working in tunnel 2, clearing the detritus of last year, and getting it ready for planting again – which involves barrowing a sizeable quantity of manure! We gained 3 large frogs in the course of the winter – there should be some delicious slugs for them as soon as the weather warms up!
For anyone interested in the avian flu situation, the hens and ducks have been locked up since 6 Dec, and despite that are doing ok. I would much rather they were outside but so far so good. Combs look good and thanks to a window they are laying at about 50-60% capacity. The cost of bedding however is a different story. If I never clean the hens out again it will be too soon. On the flip side, we won’t be short of fertiliser next year!
Best to just keep digging. Tomorrow, the right hand side of the net tunnel will get done, at which point I will move on to the even bigger challenge… the Allotment (unless I give in to temptation and sort out the paths in the walled garden first. We shall see).