Friday 24 June, 2011
When we moved here, the previous owner pointed out what she called "land reeds" and said that we should spray them with something. In all the newness, that didn't happen last year and we have a good crop this year, which is not good news.
Some internet research has told us that they are, in fact Soft Rush (Juncus effusus). As expected, it favours wet ground, so hopefully the new drains will help control it. This year, we will spray it but in future we'll try to control by mechanical means ie regular close cutting. It's not palatable, so the stock won't do it for us, which is a pity.
Tuesday 21 June, 2011
The last few days have been warm and wet and rain was forecast for today (correctly), so I set off yesterday to sow grass seed on the areas where the new field drain was laid.
I bought two seed mixes from The Grass Seed Store - one mixed for repairing gateways and one a grazing mix with herbs. I decided to use both and see what the difference is.
Doing Ditch Field was interesting because Breeze and Blizzard wanted to "help" - that involved headbutting the bucket that I had the seed in. Top Field was easier - although I still had "helpers" - Meg, one of our collies and Bertie Kitten - they were much smaller. Bertie was particularly helpful - his technique was to run under the seed as I was throwing it, collect it on his fur, then shake it off somewhere else. Meg was bored and went rabbiting.
Tuesday 7 June, 2011
Ken came yesterday to spread lime and potash fertiliser for us. It was dry and still, so perfect for it - and even better, it rained overnight and looks like we might get more today.
We had the soil tested several months ago - only Sheepfold needed lime, but potash was low in all the fields. There was a bit of moving stock around, but it only took about three hours, and that was with Ken having to go back to his farm to refill the spreader with fertiliser. We'll test again in two years and see how it's all going.
Tuesday 12 April, 2011
The new field drains are finished - water is pouring down into the burn, even though we haven't had rain for two weeks.
The bare bits now need to be reseeded and the fertiliser and lime put on - moving that forward is a job for today.
Saturday 2 April, 2011
The new field drains are going in today - well, started today, finished early next week.
I'm praying it's going to make a real difference.
Saturday 26 March, 2011
Born bang on time yesterday to Jinx, a single tup lamb. Good big lamb - went out to check them and there he was, up and sucked. This is Jinx's third lamb - all single tups - and she's a really good mum. Both well this morning, but kept in for a couple of days to bond and for Jinx to get a good feed.
Thursday 24 February, 2011
Where to start. Last year, we decided to split Five Acre field in two - although five acres isn't a lot to a big farmer, our small numbers of stock would benefit from smaller paddocks that we can rotate them round. We made a plan and bought the stobs, strainers, Rylock and wire, with the intention of doing the job in spring before the calves were turned out.
Over the winter, it has become apparent that there is a drainage issue in the Orchard (to be) and Five Acre field i.e. there's a lake where there should be grass. Last week, we had a drainage contractor out to have a look and give us some options. He was here last Friday with a laser to take the levels accurately - one of the drawbacks of our very flat land is that there is only a 2 foot drop to the nearby drainage ditch.