Plot 18 needs its yearly makeover. The soil needs turning and weeding ready for the planting to come. If the weeds are removed now they don't get a hold as the weather warms up. The digging has begun with about a third of it complete. The soil is lovely to dig - but not at all like you would expect at this time of year. It is soft, fine and crumbly whereas you would expect it to be heavy and in sticky clods. I think some of the texture is due to being carefully worked now for some years and left untouched over the winter. Some, however, is due to the very dry winter. The ground is damp, not wet and without a lot of rain we will be back the watering regime of last year.
I have also moved the fence to surround the raspberry canes, what's left of them, and protect them from the rabbits. In the process I found an extended rabbit hole which had come up through the compost bin. I filled it with rubble to make it as unpleasant as possible, but I think our skirmishes with the local rabbits looks like continuing. Geoff, the parish council chairman and neighbouring plot holder, suggested finding someone with a ferret.
On the positive side the rhubarb is beginning to appear, the gooseberries are covered in buds and a few are opening and the blackcurrants look weighed down with buds. A few wayward raspberry canes also appeared and they can be moved to supplement the gnawed remnants now inside the fence.
It's good to get in touch with the earth again.