We are almost there with our raised veggie beds. Over the weekend Lovely Hubby and Jason managed to get over a ton of hardcore under the last three raised beds to bring the ground level to match the rest of the beds and then they filled the beds with some lovely fresh manure......mmmmm the aroma.....cough, cough!!
Then we put down the black membrane to help suppress the weeds in the pathways in between each of the beds and topped it all off with over forty bags of bark chippings. These we quickly ran out of, so me and Jason headed off for the garden centre for another 12 bags (we still need more, but that can wait until next weekend). While we were there we also got some paving slabs to make stepping stones for under the washing line.
The chickens love the bark chippings and are spending every available minute moving them for us. They are also emptying the new beds of the manure almost as quickly as we put it in!! Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will make a start on planting the potatoes in the six beds we completed first, these have been covered in polythene to help warm the soil and keep the chickens out.
A covering of membrane and bark chippings in front of the shed helps hide all the mud the chickens have made with their little feet. And there is now a pathway right around the shed so we don't have to slip and slide in the mud.
In the polytunnel work went on all weekend with 159 sweetcorn seeds being sown and lots of successional planting done. I moved of some seedlings into their permanent polytunnel beds and also did lots of thinning out of seedlings in the trays and tubes. I must remember in future that I seem to be getting about a 99.5% success rate with seeds and stop putting two into each toilet roll tube! It's looking very productive in there at the moment, but most of these seedlings will be going outside in the new beds, then I will have lots of space to pot on the tomato, celery and pepper plants and they can stay in their own beds in the polytunnel for the summer. I have already taken the plastic off the top half of the doors, but am quickly pinning it back up at night at the moment as we have had some frost forecast. The last of the Leylandii trees were finally planted yesterday. That's 200 of them dotted around the farm. These were bought mainly as water drinkers to try and mop up the huge excess of water we have in the orchard. They seem to have all survived the cold winter and the Welsummers....who all love a nibble at them. Back tomorrow. Sue xxx