Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: When to take a break?  (Read 1641 times)

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
When to take a break?
« on: March 07, 2021, 07:28:29 am »
Iíve extended our growing beds over the winter and after swapping seeds with a friend am probably aiming too high with all that I hope to grow. The tomatoes and red peppers are started and germinating and thought I might do the herbs and flowers a bit early and get them out of the way into cold frames sooner rather than April/May as intended because thereís going to be a huge demand for windowsill space then.
What I was wondering was do any of you growers take a holiday? When do you aim for? Would everything be out in the ground/greenhouse by mid June? I have someone who could come and water a bit but I wouldnít expect her to do much as thereís cats, hens and hopefully chicks for her to stress over.
When do you go away, if you do? We didnít get a holiday last year, three nights the year before. Would love a week in Orkney or somewhere.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: When to take a break?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 08:13:50 am »
We had a two week holiday to France 14 years ago. The chap who kindly offered to look after the place lost the keys to the coop padlocks on the first day and had to cut them all off. Because the runs hadn't been moved the grass was scraped bare, the weeds had taken over the veg plot and it took weeks to sort everything out. That was our last holiday. We certainly can't go away in Summer because the watering is endless and includes the chicken enclosures, but really it's all too much work full time.

Having given it some thought, if we went away (post Covid) May would be the best time. Everything will have been planted and it won't be too hot, so not much watering. Only 5 chicken coops now, down from 10, so easily managed. We have a fantastic display of orchids on our land at that time and the views are lovely, so anyone looking after the place won't be disappointed. Now we have a machine to cope with long grass (post to come) they won't have to cut the lawns either.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 08:40:22 am by chrismahon »


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: When to take a break?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 01:47:04 pm »
I find September the best time to get away - only harvesting in the garden, all newborn animals well past the "bottle" stage and the weather not too hot with evenings still usable. Also often great weather in Scotland.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: When to take a break?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 08:46:39 am »
Thanks for the thoughts, Iíll have a bit more of a think. Just put first hatch on heat, so that ties us down for Easter holidays, not that thereís much chance of getting away in April anyway. Iíll probably do another hatch immediately after this as Iíve combined two in the past, makes management easier. (Though I still like to have multiple water and feeding stations to add in redundancy and avoid competition so itís maybe not much less work saved.)
Iíve found if we donít book anything itís too easy for us to keep busy, keep saying yes to other people and then itís harvest and the weathers bad and another year passes with nothing particularly memorable having happened.


  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: When to take a break?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 09:59:33 am »
In 2019 we went to Mallorca for a week during the October half term.
At that time weather over there is around 25 degrees - not too hot (during summer they have 30-40 degrees!)
I can definitely recommend that time - UK growing season is pretty much finished by then.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: When to take a break?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 10:59:39 am »
We take the odd weekend with our caravan and use a local site about 20 mins away. It has great forest walks for our dogs and the village has the usual take aways. I water before we go and when we get back and all seems fine. September is the time we would go away for longer. Easier to get a animal sitter.


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