Moving Leafmould, Carrots and Weird Weather

Weird Weather

Incredibly it wasn’t raining today and was even quite pleasant, so to the plot for the afternoon. I don’t mind the cold because you can always dress up warmly. I think the Norwegians have a saying on the lines of there isn’t bad weather, just wrong clothing. Clever people. However, they’re more used to coping with cold than wet and wet is what we’ve been getting.

Temperatures have been well above normal, which actually creates significant problems for growers here.

  • First, we rely on the frost to break up heavy soils. Digging them over exposes the surface so that the freezing and thawing action breaks it down into a finer tilth.

  • Second, the bugs and slugs are stopped if not killed by cold weather and this warm weather is allowing them to carry on being pests.

  • Thirdly, the weeds are still growing. Usually we at least get a break so we can keep ahead of the weeds but not this year.

  • Fourth and finally, it throws out our crops so things break into life too early and if, as seems likely, a hard frost comes in February those plants will die off.

The warm weather means more energy in the system as well, which is one reason we’ve had so many gales. Luckily my greenhouses have held up well, although some on the site have been damaged.

There were quite a few others on the site taking advantage of the weather as well. It’s nice to have some company, although I quite enjoy being the only person on the whole site as often happens.

Moving Leafmould

My first task was to carry on emptying the leafmould bin on plot 29 and barrow it onto the plot to be rotovated in later in the spring. I’m reserving some for the greenhouse beds as well.

I find this very tiring, especially as I haven’t had much exercise this winter. Lifting fork load after fork load out of the bin really gets the shoulders. But before I can refill them, I need to empty them and if I don’t get a move on all the leaves will have gone as it’s always ‘first come, first served’.


Over on plot 5 I had a row of carrots still in the ground so up they came. The kindest comment is that they wouldn’t make the show bench. In fact, there was little slug damage, even the slugs have some taste! Well, not the ideal soil condition for them, insufficiently thinned and left in the soil too long.

On the plus side, I made on of my favourite vegetable dishes – mashed carrots. Really sweet, if only there were more.

The days are definitely lengthening, returned home at quarter to five before it really got dark. Having said that, once the sun sank behind the trees the temperature plummeted so I was ready for home.

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