At last I have drawn up the crop rotation plan, I keep all the previous years so that I can determine what needs to go where, I follow a three year rotation and so need to look at the two years previous in order to plan this year. It is now pinned up in the greenhouse so that everyone is knows what is to be planted and where.
We had a good bit of weather at the beginning of the month and I was able to spend a couple of days outside, first job was to tidy the greenhouse, take down all the old plastic that was lining it and sweep away the cobwebs. I had ordered a smoke bomb to kill off any insects which I thought would be quicker than scrubbing it down but the smoke bomb was a bit fat fail. I attempted to light it three times, the third time I even set a little bonfire of cardboard under it but it still fizzled out to nothing so I gave up on that entirely. I had to do a bit of mending to the greenhouse as it really is on it’s last legs but to replace it would cost a good few thousand for its size and so I will keep cobbling it together until it falls down :)
I ordered a ton bag of seed compost which has now arrived and tidied up the pots so I am ready to go when the weather turns. I did contemplate putting some early seeds in, Aubergine being one of them, but I decided to wait as it will be better for them to catch up than struggle in the colder temperatures.
I cleared the first poly tunnel of old tomato and pepper plants, all the compost has gone into a bin ready to reuse on the garden at a later date, the seed potatoes are chatting nicely in the greenhouse and I managed to weed and tidy the second poly tunnel. There is still plenty growing in there, the radishes are nice and crisp and I couldn’t resist munching on a couple while I was working. The garlic is growing well in there as are the brassicas and a few broad bean plants and some sprouts, the best haul of the day were the weeds, a whole wheelbarrow full of chick weed which I took out to the chickens who were extremely grateful having had no fresh greenery for weeks now. They devoured that in an instant, it’s funny because chickweed is now being grown commercially as a speciality dish in restaurants, lucky chickens.
The outside areas of the veg plot are not even worth looking at for the time being, the ground is still very cold and this week particularly wet, it’s best to wait until the weather improves which I am hoping along with the rest of the country will be very soon.
Hubby has started work on the new improved hen run, this one is for the point of lay that we sell to the public, the ground will be concreted and the roof will be covered, that should make for easier cleaning and also mean that we can keep them in stock all year round not just in the warmer, drier months as we have done up to now. Having said that I just phoned the supplier this morning and they have not got much left to sell, I knew my order should have gone in earlier and now I will have to search around to see if I can find another supplier to supplement what I have been able to order otherwise we will have disappointed customers.
The chickens are still laying fabulously despite the rubbish weather, the ground is sodden and it’s like trying to walk on an ice rink sometimes, especially when the ground is deep frozen but the top has thawed a little. Yesterday I went down into the mud with a THUD, full on fall from upright, I knew I was going but I couldn’t get my feet placed correctly to stop myself, at that precise moment, I did think to myself, WTF am I doing trudging around in the mud every Winter! I am hoping that was the lowest point of the Winter months and we are on the up and up, at least there was no damage done just hurt pride and I swear I heard a chicken chuckle ;)
We have a fox that is causing problems, last night while I was fast asleep I heard a noise that woke me right under our window, I got up and opened the window but couldn’t see anything. On examination of the CCTV this morning I could see, the fox turn up, me hanging out of the window for a few minutes and I could also see foxy sat just out of my view, he continued to sit there for a good ten minutes after I closed it, hedging his bets as to wether it was worth another try or not. This morning I have set both traps, I will get him before he gets my birds hopefully.
I noticed the daffodils have pushed their way through quite a bit and I can see the flowers still tightly wrapped but ready to burst when the time is right. I have also noticed that the grass is trying it’s best to poke it’s head above the mud, birds are beginning to gather up twigs ready for nesting and the ducks and geese are beginning to get twitterpatted, that’s a term from Bambi (I think) all these signs mean that Spring is just around the corner, thank goodness for that, I don’t think I can wait much longer :)
This years crop rotation plan
It may not entirely surprise you to know that we ended up with one of the puppies after all, so I will introduce you to the newest farm dog, Patch, as you can see from the photo, Mia is thrilled to bits to have someone share her bed with lol