Monday, 14 April 2014

Breaking up is hard to do. Preparing the ground.

I am almost on top of my veg beds this year.
There have even been times when I have not had to dig or turn a bed when the seeds or seedlings needed to go in.

But there was big area which still needed work. The "Spare Veg Patch".
This is where I grow the crops which demand a bit more  space. The Three Sisters (Sweetcorn, Squashes and Beans), fodder crops (including my bid to retain the Mangold Wurzel trophy) and my brassicas, which I have moved out of my main vegetable rotation due to constantly snagging up the netting in the mower.
This part of the garden is on the part of my land which is classified as agricultural. This means that in the past the soil was worked to its limit and denuded. The lack of organic matter makes the soil very clayey. It's been compacted over the years too.

So I was facing quite a tricky rotavator job. It would eventually get there, but it would need several passes between the tines. But then along came Don, my friendly neighbour, with an offer to drag it with his tractor. In no time at all the surface was broken up. Farmers have all manner of machinery to reduce the soil to a fine tilth, but the drag at least got it part way there.

Just a few hours with Mr Rotavator and I have managed to get it to this.

Now I just need a bit of rain so I can break up those golf ball size hard lumps.
But if we don't get it, I should be able to sow the wurzel seeds anyway. They don't need a fine tilth.

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