With the lovely weather that we had last weekend (along with most of the country) there was some good progress made in the “Small Plot”. Although this obviously meant a corresponding lack of progress with the blog updates!
Lawns are overrated
The new chickens are having a bigger impact as time goes on with the most visible change being that part of the lawn has been replaced by wood chip. This will hopefully improve the overall appearance of that area and reduce the workload when cleaning up after them.
As a result we had lots of unwanted turf (although much of it was moss if I’m honest) so after a bit of creative thinking the result is a new compost bin at the back of the garden!
It almost certainly needs a few air holes poked in the sides to make sure of a decent air flow but we have nothing to put in there yet so no rush. Having said that, judging by the rate the chickens are filling up the current compost bin it won’t be long before this is pressed into action.
The marigolds (for companion planting) are coming along very well at the moment and seem to have suffered no ill effects as a result of the lack of attention on my part. It’s not always easy juggling time away for business every so often but it looks like I got away with it this time at least!
There has also been some promising signs from the leeks (and carrots) in the cardboard toilet roll tubes. Overall it looks like I’m getting about an 85%-90% germination rate which is very gratifying but I’m not sure I can actually take any credit for that.
As a comparison I have just planted some more carrot seeds in a standard seed tray to see how that goes and so that I have some more seedlings to plant out when harvesting the first batch.
I got some left over garlic for planting from my sister recently so that also went into the garden in a couple of key spots. I even had some left to plant in a tub to leave near the chickens as I read somewhere that growing garlic helps to mask the scent from predators. I don’t put much faith in that but it doesn’t hurt to try it.
Recycle and reuse
Several years ago I bought a metal-framed cold frame – originally to help when taking cuttings – but as seems quite common the glass was too thin and easily broken. As a result it was left in a corner and underutilized but after replacing some of the glass with perspex a couple of years ago I had better luck.
This weekend I had the brain wave to bring it back into service by using some clear plastic (actually the packaging for the cloches and netting I bought recently) in place of the remaining missing bits of glass. It looks a little ramshackle but looks like it will work so I immediately filled it up!
Hopefully I haven’t overdone it now but if I have I’m sure I can find a home for the spare plants…