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Almost Springtime 21st Jan 2012

Both my plots are almost ready for sowing & planting when the weather allows me to do so. Since mid-week I have created one small planting area on my 2nd plot & forked over 1 more full bed turning in the manure as I did so.
The soil was "just on the damp side" for turning but due to the stiff westerly wind & plenty of sunshine drying out the soil quickly I carried on. It's not advisable to dig clay when it is wet, not only is it heavy work but the soil structure can be damaged, leaving small dry lumps of clay on the surfaces.

New Bed in Forground Sweetcorn Bed Background Manured & Turned

In future I will be digging in the manure "as required" rather than leaving it on the surface over the Winter. The reason for this is that too much moisture is being held on the soil surfaces by the rotting manure.

The remainder of my beds on both plots should be ready for rotavating by Monday if the weather remains dry until then. Up until last October I have never used a rotavator on my plots, preferring to use garden forks & spades for turning the soil but working 2 plots is a different "kettle of fish", using forks & spades will be too time consuming overall. After the rotavating is done it will be time to concentrate on "traying" & "potting up" more seeds.

My Brussel Sprouts are growing well in the greenhouse & it looks like I will have some very early lettuce which are growing away, under cloches at the bottom of N1 plot, just above the frost line.

Crisp head Lettuce Under Homemade Cloches

As I worked on the plot this week I noticed there were more bird songs filling the air. More varieties of birds have been appearing, Robins, Magpies, Blackbirds, Pied Wagtails, Blue Tits & even a Buzzard have made appearances during the week. Spring must be just around the corner!! I seem to have the planning right this year, can't think what I've forgotten, there has to be something??

Prototype Cloche Made from Large Plastic Water Bottles

Anyway there's always tomorrow.


  1. Looks like you have everything well in hand - I haven't done any digging as I'm trying the 'no-dig' approach this year. I don't know how successful it will be but I thought I would give it a try as I'm not getting any younger!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I havn't tried the no dig idea yet although I've considered it. I worked on a large garden several years ago which had to be "fully organic" it took 3 months just to clear the ground it put me off. Anyway I'm not getting any younger either, another reason for rotovating. I'm sure from your profile picture you are young anyway.

  2. Good luck with the Rotavator idea - I got my plot done once - never again! All the bramble roots and couch weed roots etc. meant that I had more problems the following year. It did look good at the time though!

    1. Know what u mean about rotavating. I've spent 18 months clearing bindweed from 1 plot by hand. If the rotavator makes things worse its back to digging.


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