There was still some snow on the ground as we met up for the first working day of 2018, but the soil was not frozen, the sun was shining, and it was good to be out doing some physical work.
And we had the first bonfire to welcome in the New Year!
It is too early to think of sowing and planting but plenty to be done on the plot. The willow grown as a western windbreak was cut back to the trunk, not a good look but it soon grows in again and the prunings are used to weave into the other windbreaks round the north edge of the plot.
The buds on some of the fruit are beginning to fatten so time to start on boosting the soil fertility by giving each a forkful of well-rotted manure round the roots, being careful to keep it away from the bark of the stems. The first leaves are showing on one of the rhubarb plants – strangely the late season one – and these also were given a manure mulch.
The netting over the winter brassicas was checked over and dead or dying leaves removed. The chard has not survived the severe frosts, so it was dug up and put in the compost bins. Cabbage root fly has been problem this year – the worst it has been for us. Most of the cabbages died off, a couple managed to grow into small ones and only two became a decent size. The brassicas will be rotated round and will be grown on a different bed next year and we shall use cabbage collars to try and minimise the problem.
Winter Fruit Pruning Workshop on Sunday 11 February 2pm – 4pm.
All most welcome but as numbers are limited it is advisable to book a space using the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jobs for next week
- Start pruning the hazel windbreak.
- Replace the former dead hedge with wire fence
- Put a ‘splint’ on the broken fence post
- Use willow prunings to thicken up the windbreak
- Plant new raspberry canes and possibly damson tree