Thursday, 14 March 2019

False Spring

The warm spell of weather we had a few weeks ago lured everyone into a thinking that spring had arrived, but it seems we're a long way from it yet with the weather we've been having this week. 



But I love this time of year and all the prep that goes into the spring that's just around the corner. Everything is just getting ready to burst!


The first spring job is we've put eggs into the incubator at school. 

The chickens will be for us but I thought it was nice for them to hatch out there so the kids all get to see it, they're already so excited and the head loves that I want to do it there, might even do a few ducks next. 

The chicks will probably stay there for a week afterwards then come back to ours to be grow out. These are from some mail order Silkie chicken eggs. I'd love to have some for broody hens to hatch out future chicks without the need for an incubator. We used to have a few Silkies until the fox got them (super cute link from nearly 7 years ago if you click here - you won't be disappointed)


We've also started sowing lots of seeds. some at the right time and some a little optimistically. I wanted to try growing a few new things this year but I've already hit a few set backs, the main one being the mice! Doesn't matter how many traps I put down they still get in and eat most of what I'm trying to germinate! I'm not a fan of cats but I am tempted at the moment!


Outside there is still lots to plant. In the picture above is some Siberian Pea Trees (shrubs really) that I grew from seed two years ago. They've been quietly growing in some pots waiting for their chance to shine.

These were planted for my "soft fruit rows" I'm planning in the empty bit of the orchard. The main soft fruit garden is now completely overgrown and I'm hopeful that I have a polytunnel coming my way that I want to place there, so instead I'm start a new soft fruit area.

The idea being that the fruit will be in widely spaced rows but every other plant will be one of these pea trees which are nitrogen fixers. They will then provide nitrogen for the plants around them but also provide a crop of edible peas for forage for the chickens and maybe for us as well if they turn out to be very nice. This might be like many of my plans but I'm hopeful I can pull it off at the moment!


The wet weather of the last few weeks has also cost me a bit of time. The ceiling in my workshop came down to a leak the other day, I did know that it was leaking but I dealt with it with a few carefully placed buckets - not a long term solution. The annoying thing is that we have the tin ready to recover the roof, we just haven't got round to it!



Dad has said he'll come over on Sunday to help put it on and to put some insulation under it, hopefully won't take long once we've started and should fix the problem forever. The extra insulation will be great in the summer as well as winter as the workshop does get seriously hot in the warmer months. 

How is your season shaping up at the moment? 

What big projects have you got planned?

11 comments:

  1. Our cats keep the mice numbers down, but one cat likes to bring home live mice, which is fun and games catching it, I can't wait for spring, my small garden is calling me.

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    1. Ha! that must be terrible to have live mice brought in the house!

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  2. Not a cat fan but hurricane damaged neighbors rodent cages (she sells to medical labs) and we were invaded. I shudder just thinking of them --- everywhere. Niece gave me two kittens. Until one left and went back home they worked as a tag team. The other stayed and greeted me at the chicken coop each morning waiting for her food. Never bothered chickens or chicks. I fell in love, she was so sweet and efficient. Never saw a dead mouse or rat but they were all gone in six weeks. Sadly, Florida is a harsh environment and she died. Blasted rats and mice are back--even chewing through hard plastic. I am in the market for another cat. Rodents do thousands of dollars damage to farm products and livestock feed annually plus spread disease. I have become a cat convert. They are a great farm asset, so much safer and efficient than poison.

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    1. That sounds blinking terrible! Sounds like a plague! The damage the mice do is awful but I'm weighing it up against the cat poop in the garden.

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  3. Hi Kev, reference the mice eating your seeds on the greenhouse bench, have you thought of perhaps rigging up some hanging shelves, ie hanging from cord off the rafters like hammocks, rather than having them on the bench? Just so the plug trays are off the bench completely, might foil the mice temporarily at least until your seeds germinate.

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    1. That's a great idea, in a polytunnel it would work well I think but it wouldn't in my greenhouses as there's nothing to hang it from.

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  4. What about a plug in rodent repellent? The gardeners of old use to soak their peas in paraffin before planting them. The mice don't like paraffin. Or why not raise your seeds in the house and they will grow quicker with the heat from the central heating? Sheds and greenhouses and polytunnels are very cold at night at this time of year.

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    1. I've heard of soaking them but I've never tried it.
      I do start some in the house, but I've far too many to grow them all in size.

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  5. One of my cats has taken to sleeping in the greenhouse because it’s nice and warm (he doesn’t do cold!) but he’s more likely to sleep on my seedlings than catch any mice. At least he should act as a deterrent anyway...

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    1. If I get a polytunnel I'm fairly sure I'm going to try and sleep in there so I see where your cat is coming from!

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