I love days like this, bright, sunny, mild and dry. it’s the sort of day you can get loads of work done and finish the day feeling as if something was really accomplished!
I moved the my kiwi from the flimsy archway to the fence (hopefully it will be happy there and spread to cover the fence), planted the fennel next to the kiwi and filled in around them with some of the manure that was in the raised bed…. think we need to go back and finish mucking out that bull pen! R planted the other climbing rose at the opposite end of the bed, so now I have 4 apple trees, 1 damson tree, 1 kiwi and two climbing roses along that fence, I can’t wait until it matures, it’ll look so beautiful. The bed needs filling a bit more and I’m going to throw in loads of wildflower seeds and comfrey.
We moved the straw bales out of the greenhouse (so I could get the paraffin heater in there – I didn’t think that paraffin heaters and straw bales would mix too well…!), they are wrapped up well with a tarpaulin and stacked at the side of the shed. The baler band on both the full ones had broken on one side so they took a bit of manoeuvring and manhandling to get them re-tied and moved without them falling apart. I’m down to two and a half bales now though so I might need to find some more before the end of winter.
One greenhouse bed is done, the mucked out straw from the chicken pen had pretty much filled the bed but I added some of the bull compost from the raised bed (I used a fair bit of the bull compost for other things so we really do need to go and finish mucking out that bull pen!) to make it level. Finished it off with a coat of weed matting, tucked down the sides and that can sit there and wait for later in the season when I have to plants ready to go. The chicken straw I put in half the bed last year when we moved it had rotted down beautifully, nothing was planted in it last year, it just had my strawberry grow bags stuck on top of it, but there was no sign of any straw and it was dark, crumbly and full of worms!
That bed now has makeshift bench with my propagators on it, I’ve started some peppers, tomatoes, field beans, peas and comfrey. The tomatoes are a tad early but they are all old seeds so I’ve not lost anything if they don’t come up, they are in a heated propagator and the greenhouse has the heater on in it though so they will be as warm in there as anywhere. R planted some lettuce and chives and I popped some radishes in a wooden tray so with a bit of luck we will have some salad popping up soon. The onions have been moved outside, as they don’t really need to be in the greenhouse.
The Husband finished the small chicken hut he was making, it’s in the pen so they can get used to it, there is no point worrying about a pen for it until I need to separate them, and that won’t be until someone goes broody.
I’ve been reading about humanure (you know if MI5 really do monitor what people do on the internet there are some agents out there who must really think I’m crazy!) and I’ve decided to experiment with composting the dog’s poo. I know, I know, everything I’ve ever read on composting has been very strict on the ‘NO dog poo’ rule but if you can compost human poo why the hell not dog poo? I quickly read this short book last night – Compost Everything – and found it interesting reading, and did some more research on the forums of Joseph Jenkins’ website. So now there is a compost bin with a thick layer of straw in the bottom and a tub of shavings waiting to cover the ‘deposits’ I add. Hopefully in a year or so I’ll have a bin of lovely compost that I can use of my flowers (I’m really not sure if I’ll have the guts to use it on plants producing food!), either that or I’ll have a compost bin full of dog poo, straw and shavings and it’ll be a disgusting, smelly mess!
I planted the last few bulbs that were starting to sprout in a bag in the kitchen, two big pots crammed full of daffodils, tulips and heaven only knows what else, any left over were scattered in the wildlife patch under my rowan tree and covered with some more soil, the soil level still needs bringing up a little but it’s getting there. Loads of bulbs poking through now, and my snowdrops are beautiful.
I had a quick play in my shed, lots of almost finished things, (that I really must finish before I cut into my new wood!), then dinner of duck breast, mash and broccoli – ably cooked by R! Another day off work tomorrow, woohoo, lots to do in the shed – I will have some new stock in the WHW shop!