Friday, 11 January 2008

Doors, Burrows and Drawings

Today's visit was to drop off some stuff.

Firstly, I took the frame I've made as the door for the greenhouse I've built. I checked that it fitted as the rain started to fall and decided to leave it for final fixing until a dry day. The greenhouse is a simple affair, built on the south side of the shed, it's only small at about 600mm wide, so more of a tall cold frame than a real greenhouse. The sides and roof are covered with corrugated plastic over a treated wooden frame. When the door has been hung it will be covered with the last of the plastic. This should make a great place to bring on plants in pots or trays before they go out. I think I'll make a low cold frame for hardening off plants as well. The shed already gets a lot warmer than the outside air - even in a wet Yorkshire January, so the enclosed greenhouse will be even warmer much of the time.

One problem with greenhouses is that they lose their heat at night, but one built on the side of a dark brown shed will warm the shed by day and be kept warm by the shed by night.

Jean took a bag of garden cuttings for the compost heap and made a surprise discovery. When we cleared the site last year there was a burrow of some kind tucked away in the nettles under the hedge at the end next to field. It has reappeared, but not quite in the same place. The burrow looked as though it had collapsed in and when we stood next to it more of the ground gently collapsed into the burrow. It was big enough to be a rabbit hole, but there has been talk of stoats and feral ferrets, so I'll try to suss it out.

We quickly measured the plot to make a drawing of the layout as the rain drizzled down. I'll upload the drawing when it's ready. We needed to work out what to plant so I thought a drawing would help to firm up a real planting scheme. We have a few ideas, including creating an asparagus bed, and the drawing will help us understand what really will fit, as well as when things will be in the ground.

We need to get another couple of trailer-loads of horse manure to prepare the asparagus bed. There is a large riding school and stable in the village and they have a large excess of manure. They pile it into a huge heap, which makes it rot quickly and thoroughly into wonderful compost. Last October we collected many trailer-loads of this stuff and spread it on the newly cleared ground but now it has disappeared, dragged down by earth worms. I want to dig lots of this into a bed for asparagus which I'll buy as plants not seeds.

That's the plan anyway.

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