Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Asparagus put to bed

Saturday 13th January 2018
Sheep stuff
I was rudely awoken by Sue with the news that the three ewe lambs had pushed through the electric fence and got in with Rambo and the breeding ewes! Normally they go nowhere near the fence so I don't know if something spooked them. Luckily Rambo did not seem to be showing much interest.
The lambs were overdue their monthly worm treatment anyway, so we herded them all into sheep hurdles and got the syringe loaded up with the drench (oral medicine).

With that accomplished, we separated Rambo and led him up to the top paddock to spend the next few months with the other two ram lambs. So now all the girls are together and all the boys are together.

Asparagus put to bed
A rare dry couple of days and just about warm enough for the fingers not to go too numb.
Sitting on the to do list for a while now has been to clear the asparagus bed. The ferny tops had yellowed and dried out but needed chopping. This helps keep the asparagus beetle down. With the stems cleared away I could get to the weeds. Asparagus is an absolute pain to weed, as its fleshy roots run shallow. So it is a hands and knees job. I piled a good layer of sand and manure on the bed last year which helped inhibit the weeds and improve soil structure. Most of the weeds were easy to remove but couch grass roots had encroached from the edges and needed carefully forking and teasing out.
I then lightly turned the soil in the trenches and let the chickens in to pick out the slug eggs. Early in the spring, when the chickens have been banished from the veg plot, I'll mound up the ridges again and add more manure. There's no point doing it now as the chooks will just scratch it all over the place.

The chickens taking advantage of turned soil and doing me a favour too.
Even better, with the lengthening days they are starting to turn the extra protein into tasty eggs.
I didn't quite finish the whole asparagus bed but there's not much left to do. I had to call a slightly early end to the gardening today as the evening was set aside for a meal out with the Grow Your Own group. The Fens is a big place and we had a bit of a journey to The Lamb and Flag in Welney.
We had a lovely time and a very tasty meal (generous portions and they let me have custard and ice-cream with my bread and butter pud!)

Sunday 14th January 2018
Pruning the apples and pears
With the weather holding fine I decided to get all the apples and pears pruned. However much I read and watch videos, this is a job I am never quite sure if I am doing right. The trouble is that the trees don't often grow like they do in the books.
However, I've been doing it for a few years now so feel as if I am getting the hang of it.

I have to hold off on any stone fruits (plums, gages, damsons, cherries, apricots) for a while yet, until the sap is rising.

Let's hope the weather conspires for a good fruit harvest this year. Each year one crop or another catches a frost at the wrong time and one year I lost all the apples and pears to hail damage mid June. I'm not expecting that to happen again in a hurry.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Click here to follow my blog

Follow by Email