15. MARCH

The weather was very good today, just the right temperature for a bit of strenuous digging and potato planting. I didn’t want to plant too many so in the end we have six lines on one plot and two on another one. I think that  should be just about enough, we’ve got some very early potatoes in pots in the back garden as well.

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It was quite a lot to do and I decided to dig all the trenches first. All I had to do then was to sprinkle in some fertiliser – I’m using a mix of chicken manure pellets and fish,  blood and bone. One trench takes 15 potatoes, that gives them enough space to give me some decent sized potatoes. We have a variety from first earlies to main season ones so if all else fails we should have spuds!

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GIVING BACK

There is no such thing as waste on our site. We all have a number of composter bins and I have a corner of one plot dedicated to a large compost heap. I don’t put any weeds there but everything else that I can’t fit into my bins – courgette, tomato, cucumber and other plants after they’ve finished. My friend Dave shares this heap with me, he doesn’t have one.

Today was the day to see what was under the cover. I have got two pieces of carpet to speed the composting process and after I took them off today I was delighted. A large mound of crumbly brown soil, hardly any large pieces. In all I had two full wheelbarrows and seven large plastic sacks of this brown gold. I have started to distribute it around my fruit trees in the orchard it’ll be perfect.

After all this I started putting in more old foliage and the process will carry on. It shows that Mother Nature knows best, we just have to help it on the way. I don’t use any artificial fertilisers, just the liquid from my wormery and perhaps some organic chicken poo pellets. I have lost my horse muck source so it will be just everything we can get from our bins.

WEEDS

We had a little drop of rain last night, just enough to soften the surface of the soil. It didn’t penetrate deep at all but was just enough to make the weeding a bit easier. Today was the turn of the brassica cage. I have a number of purple sprouting broccoli, kohlrabi, red cabbages and curly kale there and a lot of weeds. Amazing that they grew so well as  May was extremely dry. It was a job for the whole morning.

A few hours and a stiff back later it looked much better.

It is a pity I can’t make any use of the bucket of weeds…

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And after all the work I sprinkled a good amount of my feeding mix – fish, blood and bone and chicken manure pellets all around the plants. As I am writing this the long-awaited rain came so it should all soak in. Another net cage to weed tomorrow, and another the day after…..

HIMALAYAN LILY

It is getting very exciting in the back garden. My one and only Himalayan lily bulb has decided to flower – after about three years just sitting in the ground doing not a lot. even though I fed and pampered it.

It all started rather slowly and I didn’t think much of it. I moved it from its last position (where it didn’t do anything) to a large flowerpot full of rich soil and the improvement was sudden. I also feed it with either chicken manure pellets or the liquid from my wormery. Something works, it reached a height of 120 cm today and I hope it continues further.

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