Friday, 27 February 2015

New hedge


After a few days break I went up to plot 18 to carry on weeding and see what is what. The sun was out the breeze was chilly but light and it was a pleasant place to be.

The first surprise is that the hedge along the north side of the site that was grubbed up nearly a year ago has finally been reinstated with new seedlings in their plastic tubes to stop them being grazed. It will be very good to see a proper hedge again, though it will take a couple of years before it looks like a hedge. They look to all be hawthorn, which is ideal. I checked around the site and the new hedge saplings have been planted along the western hedge too as an infill for the existing hedge.

As I walked around I flushed a couple of red-legged partridges and I could hear another couple chuckling in the distance. They are lovely looking birds, now more common that the grey partridges, but they are also good at demolishing greens on the site.

I dug up a decent chunk of weeds and inspected the rest of the site. All looks well and hopefully ready to weather the storm coming across the weekend. There's still a lot of weeding to do, but nothing will be ready to plant out for weeks yet, so I can plod through the weeding and digging without any rush.

I had a good look at the netting around the purple sprouting broccoli and that looks secure. Hopefully it is secure enough to keep the partridges out. They would demolish my broccoli in one sitting. The first heads of broccoli are showing through so I should get my first harvest soon, which I look forward to.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A bit warmer

The snow and ice has melted, and although it was overcast today, when the sun has shone it has been warmer. I've started clearing some weeds ready for the spring dig. The weeds come out very easily as the ground is very soft, but anywhere I walk over a couple of times is quickly turning to mud. I'm hoping to clear more weeds over the next few days, weather permitting.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Frozen leeks

The snow fell last night giving about 5cm coverage. It has been steadily melting all day in a bright warm sun, It will not all melt today and there's more forecast overnight. I walked through the wet snow to to Plot 18 following the tracks made by someone with a dog and saw the tracks left by a cat. I was hoping the ground would not be frozen to lift a few leeks, but I was disappointed. rather than break them I left the leeks for another day.

I checked the traps, both were under a covering of snow and both were still set. I added some bait and left them set. Traps or not, nothing is being eaten and there are no tracks in the snow to show anything is around the plot. I'm content with that.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Tracks

There was a smidgeon of snow about and a bit of sleet in the air, but the temperature was above zero and the ground felt soggy not frozen. The traps were still set, but the rain and snow had washed most of the bait away. The traps were tripped, another dollop of jam to top them up added and the traps reset. I'm still not sure what the best bait might be.

There were a few faint prints in the wet snow, but not very clear. A set of car tracks in the car park had foot prints and a dog prints leading from it. No sign of Norman's bike tracks, but there was a set of small paw prints that I think is a cat. No sign of other tracks, but with so little snow any creature might have avoided it and still got around.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Waiting for the cold blast

I nipped out this morning to plot 18. There is a cold blast forecast with some snow, though the snow forecast for parts of North America has not really arrived, so maybe we'll not see much snow too. Only time will tell. Overnight there was a lot of rain and the ground was very wet, with puddles standing anywhere the ground has been flattened. One of the traps had been sprung, but not showing any signs of what might have sprung it. The jam bait was still untouched. As the rain started again I simply reset the trap and headed home again.

After writing the piece above I looked outside. There's a thin cover of snow and more falling. Maybe we will have a proper cover of snow over the next few days. I might get a good look at any animal tracks around the site, then I need to identify anything I find.

The thought of starting planting or sowing any veg seems a bit further away.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A waiting game

The two traps were still set and none of the jam taken. I left them untouched. If there's no change tomorrow I'll rethink the bait.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Rat trap

This morning a pair of metal rat traps arrived. After lunch I took them and some apricot jam up to the plot. I wired the traps to metal fence posts added a dollop of jam and set the traps. Lets see what they catch. The last poison was completely eaten so there's still vermin around. I meant to record the installation with a photo, but I forgot.

I then dug out some of the weeds around the fruit bushes which is easy while the bushes are dormant and the ground is very soft. I also pulled out a couple of stray raspberry canes from in amongst the black currants. Raspberries get everywhere. There are a lot of teasel seedlings at the hedge end of the plot and one day soon I'll dig them all out.

Gary arrived with his friend Billy to replace the felt on his shed roof. I gave them a hand. The biggest problem was that the temperature being only about 8°C, the felt was stiff and easy to tear and crack. It looked pretty good when we had done and I hope it lasts years like the previous one.