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Keeping Ahead in Good Weather

Texel Sheep

Texel Sheep in the Back Field

We’ve been treated to a few beautiful days, more like summer than early spring with warm sun shining from blue skies. I do get fed up of the weather here on the west coast with it’s seemingly endless wind and rain but days like this make up for it.

The sheep are back in the fields, a true sign of spring. The new lambs are so cute at this point but given a few months they’ll be teenage trouble, escaping and vandalising given half a chance.

We’ve caught up with a lot of jobs, which is always heartening. Sometimes growing is three paces forward and two paces back. Last year was a two paces back year. This year we’re four paces ahead, for now at least.

The raised beds were pretty weedy and grass was beginning to take them over. Given a loose soil, grass produces such a thick mat of roots. It’s easy to see how it binds sand dunes together which is useful by the seaside but not so helpful in the raised beds.

The broad beans (Var. The Sutton) have gone in. These were started in pots in the cool greenhouse. The Imperial Green Longpod were sown later and are just starting to pop their heads up in the greenhouse.

Mulching under Jostaberry

Mulching under Jostaberry

First Cut

Started mowing the grass again. It’s been growing, albeit slowly, for a while now. The first cut, with the mower on it’s highest setting, produced a few large bags of clippings to mulch under the fruit bushes.

If the weather allows, I’ll mow again in a week but with the blades set a notch lower. Taking the cutting height down gradually lets the grass recover better after winter

The Back Border

Back Border in March 2012

Back Border in March 2012

Back Border in November 2016

Back Border in November 2016

Behind the house we’ve a path and then a retaining wall to a raised border about 1.5 metres (5 feet) wide. The wall was rebuilt as it was collapsing and the border cleaned of weeds prior to being limed and fertilised back in 2012.

We popped in a selection of flowers and bushes which we expected to be slow growing as the border is pretty shady. Nature does have a way of surprising you though – things have grown really well. Too well!

Hebe Shrubs in Poultry Area

Hebe Shrubs in Poultry Area

The tiny hebe shrubs we planted later in the year were just too big by last year. They were crowding each other as swamping other plants, so we’ve taken them out. Three have been moved into a border by the track to the house and three in a line in the new poultry area. I know hens don’t eat hebes but they do like the shelter of a few bushes in their area.

Because they were crowded, the foliage is just on top but I’m sure they’ll green up on the sides now they’ve space and light. That assumes they’ll survive being moved. Moving small plants is no problem but there’s always a fair amount of root damage and shock with larger plants. They’ve had plenty of compost and been well watered so fingers crossed!

There were a couple of lavenders that had been squashed by the hebes and were pretty leggy. Decided to just pull those and replace them. For a couple of pounds, it’s not worth a lot of bother trying to rescue them.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Keeping Ahead in Good Weather
  1. Tim says:

    I was told you could replant hebes a bit deeper to make up for the lack of side shoots if you had overcrowded plants, I never tried it though.

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