Rain / Raspberries / PolytunnelRSS feed

Posted: Monday 2 January, 2023

by Rosemary at 5:29pm in Smallholding Comments closed


Wednesday 28th December

Bit grey, but no wind and not frozen, which is good. After the morning chores – feeding and mucking out the cattle and feeding the ponies – and after feeding ourselves, Dan took the dogs for a walk down the Buddon and I had a happy couple of hours in the garden.

I'm trying to see the potential.

winter-gardenWinter garden.

I started by watering the polytunnel; it’s been completely ventilated and if it gets really dry, it’s hard to rehydrate it in the spring. And I’d quite like to encourage weeds to sprout so I can get them out early. After watering, I sprinkled a bag of Remin on the beds. It's a start butl ots to do.

polytunnelA start in the polytunnel.

Then I cut back the Joan J autumn fruiting raspberries – we must get supports in this year – and gave the blueberries a wee trim – just dead bits and crossing branches, while opening up the middle a bit.

raspberriesRaspberries before.

RaspberriesRaspberries after.

By the time I had finished that, the rain was setting in for the day, so that seemed like a good time to go indoors for a cuppa and a slice of Christmas cake.


Thursday 29th December

Sun, high cloud, cold and dry – so not a bad day at all. Dan went off early doors with a trailer of manure for the community garden, then took the dogs for a good walk. On their return, we had a look at the new site for the chooks inthevegetable garde. I might put them up to a pen inn the orchard in summer, bu thsi will be their main home. We're going to rebuild the leaf mould bays elsewhere.

leafmouldNew hen run is going here.

hen runAnd here.

I had advertised our old ring feeder and the caravan converted henhouse on social media yesterday and both have sold; the ring feeder went off today, the caravan next week.

My absolutely “must do” job was to clean out the henhouse; I wasn’t looking forward to it, given the reason I’m cleaning it out now, but there was only one wee patch of blood. And a lot of feathers. Still, done now. I just need to get the feeders and the plastic pallets in now. The lid of the nest box needs repaired, as does the roof on the green henhouse - Dan has it at the top of his list.

I’ve ordered four POL for the spring – a brown one, a black one, a white one and a grey one

I spread Remin on the raspberry bed and round the three plum and gage trees. The fourth one needs to come out, as does the blackthorn. A job for later in the month, I think.

Friday 30th December

Absolutely biblical rain overnight and today – our fields are as wet as I’ve ever seen them. I’m SO glad we don’t have sheep and hens just now. Strong winds in the evening, but dry.

WetThat's not an ark in the middle.

Saturday 31st December

Much better day today – frosty start but dry and sunny. We put a fresh bale in for the cows – a bale is lasting about eight days.

Three seed catalogues arrived in the post – technically, I’ve already bought ours, but I had a look, spoke to a few chums and I’m going to try cucamelon and watermelon this year. I wish I could remember if I’d ordered seed potatoes or not. I’ve checked through my seed box and I have definitely bought all I need (and then some).

Tom is a happy boy. I think he likes being a pet.

TomGwenna, Tom and Dan.

Sunday 1st January

Well, here we are in a new year; all bright and shiny and unblemished.

I can confirm I HAVE bought seed potatoes.

I’m not going to get all philosophocal but it’s been an interesting year. We sold all the sheep earlier in the year; all the chooks were killed by the fox last month – so numbers are a bit depleted. But we’re good – we’ll keep the cattle – four calves due and new hoses ordered for the milking machine (well, almost) – and the ponies.  I’m looking forward to getting four hens, just for us. We’re not doing pigs this year.

We really want to focus on the garden and the orchard, which have always been neglected in favour of livestock.

The latter half of the year was kind of dominated by Gwenna’s back operation and her recuperation; thankfully, she seems to have made a very good recovery indeed.

Dan’s medical adventure at Christmas was a bit of a fright; he’s still to have more tests, but fingers crossed, it was just one of these things and not a symptom of something more serious. But we’re not worrying until we have something to worry about.

So onwards and upwards, into 2023!


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