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Mar 19 2009

Posted By: Paul 08/05/2009 07:20:00

What a great week for gardening. The forecast said rain, but all I had was hot sun beaming down on my back with that lovely spring warmth. My allotment is looking much happier now and the onions, beans, and brassicas are looking healthier every day. The potato patch is almost ready for the first earlies to go in,

it previously contained some fruit canes which I moved to the garden as I want to concentrate the 'browsing' crops closer to the house. The seed potatoes have been chitting away quite happily, and are starting to get to a 1cm-1.5cm long. Ideally I would like them a little longer again maybe 2cm-2.5cm before they go into the ground, so it may be late March before I plant them. Also next weeks weather is turning colder apparently so it may be worth waiting a little longer.

Last years compost is the best I have ever had and thanks to the chickens as they have turned the heap in their search for worms and grubs.( Is there no end to how helpful these chickens can be?). Anyway the compost is nicely stacked in a bin made from pallets, (2x1 with an open front and top) When the chickens have finished scraping around for the day the top foot of matter is now outside the bin and is spread out on the floor. If left for another day they will scrape another foot or so off the heap. By the weekend the bin is almost empty and the compost is spread all over the floor. That's when I fork it all back into the bin and the whole process starts over. What's more as they eat all the grubs and get full they have to make more room, and as a result the grub rich pooh is mixed into pile as they go.

Having helpful animals in the garden reminded me of how pigs can be used to turn virgin ground into well turned and manured soil ready for potatoes. Goats are good for milk etc, but I think the belief they will eat anything is only true in two situations, one when they are being naughty and eating you clothes, and two when there is nothing else to eat. There must be more symbian relationships between animals and man in the garden. Let me know if you have heard of any, by emailing, or posting a comment on the TGC social network or the new Facebook Group ?

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