I am pleased to report that Victoria our new chicken and Big Bird or BB as we now call her, are now getting along very well together. There’s the odd angry look, but BB isn’t scared of her new buddy anymore. They’re still in their separate areas, even in the big brassica cage, but when I’m out in the garden, I let them play on the grass together. The grass is like no man’s land so no one feels they have the upper hand, except me that is. I think next week end they’ll live quite happily in their shed and attached run, but baby steps for them both is needed.
This weekend was another glorious one. Not shorts weather, but no need to wear a coat on top of a jumper sort of weather. It was the perfect time to do more in the garden and greenhouses.
Firstly let’s start with the garden – More weeding in the fruit patch, I’m getting there, but there is more to do. Where ever I am weeding the chickens come as well. Not sure if they love me so much they just don’t like to be away from me, or, and more likely, they’re hoping I’ll find and then give them any worms. I like to think it’s a bit of both, but then I could be kidding myself. When they’re bored of being with me, they hop onto another bed and either have a scratch, or start pecking at some of the open Brussels Sprouts that are at the bottom of the stalks.
Late last year I got a load of ground covering Phlox from J Parker. They were mini plugs so I needed to pot them up and grow them on a little more before putting them outside. They’ve been happily growing in the greenhouse over the winter and are now large enough to go out into the big wide world. So I had a quick, but thorough weed and tidy of the fairy garden, and then planted them in any spare spaces. Hopefully they’ll like their new home and later in the Spring and into the Summer and Autumn they’ll create, with the other plants, a lovely sea of colour under the willow tree. I’ll take a photo later in the year to show you.
The garden waste starts again this week which is brilliant, I’ve got a wheelie bin full and lots of bags waiting to be collected. They only collect our garden waste from March-middle of December, apparently people don’t garden is January or February. Clearly they don’t know us gardeners at all. For those of you who are wondering why I don’t have a compost heap, the short answer is I used to have two, but the rats made a home in them and had babies. It’s taken me three and a half years to stop the buggers coming in the garden at night. Oh and the tip is 6 miles away and having to book a slot and the time it takes to go there and back, it’s just easier to have a wheelie bin. It all goes in the same place anyway.
After lunch I was then in the greenhouses. I’ve got lots of spider plants and strawberry plants growing in there, and they needed a bit of a tidy up with any spent leaves removed. Once that was done it was time to do some pricking out. Firstly the Cosmos and then a load of Marigolds and Dill.
I got my square pots and filled them up with multi purpose compost and firmed it down a little.
Then I made a hole in the centre with my finger, or a long pencil or a dibber if you prefer. Make the hole as deep as you can and then very carefully ease out the seedlings.
I’m using a safety knife to ease the seedlings out, but have used a blunt pencil before which I find works very well. The Cosmos I’m transplanting about 3 or 4 seedlings together, the Marigolds 2 or 3 seedlings and the Dill about 10 seedlings. That way when I put them out in the garden and herb patch they’re more of a clump that individual plants that might look a bit lonely. Make sure that when moving any seedlings you always hold the leaves and never the stem. If you break a little of the leaf then it’s not a problem, bit if you break the stem then that’s it.
Then ease the seedlings in the hole making sure as much of the stem is under the soil and just the leaves are above the soil. This will make them a little more robust and sturdy as they grow.
I then gave them a good water and they’re very happy now in the greenhouse.
So a very busy day in the garden this weekend. I didn’t get everything done, but I’ll work through anything else this coming week. Next weekend I’ll be sowing lots more seeds.
Time for a beer and dinner I think!
Don’t forget my Claire’s Allotment Essentials Book Volume 1, it’s full of all sorts of information that you need. Click HERE if you would like to buy it.