Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Mantis in the garden ( The non creepy crawly type)

A Mantis arrived in the post, not the preying variety, but the boys toys variety, with a Honda engine and a tiller blade! Those that know my husband, know that he loves a gadget, so some weeks ago he started researching a way of digging the very hard soil in the raised beds with little effort. It was soon obvious that this particular gadget would do the job perfectly, so an order was duly placed.

It arrived on Monday, as usual in a box, in bits. 

I stayed out of the way during construction but it wasn't long before it looked ready to go

It has lots of attachments but most seem to be rather sharp evil looking blades.. So next morning in the freezing cold it was time to give it a try. I will say that in the pictures, you will see its Jim, not me using the tiller, I know its my garden and I should be doing it myself and I did try, trouble was I couldn't hang on to the thing, it is so powerful It just took me all over the place and was a bit out of control! I am sure I will get the hang of it but for now, tilling is his job. 

So what started as a hard compacted piece of soil

was nicely turned over with weeds removed and large stones picked out in about 10 minutes. 

Next job was to spread a deepish layer of horse manure on the newly tilled soil

And now I need to fill the beds with topsoil, Thats not been done yet as my pile of topsoil is frozen! a few nice days and I can carry on. Hopefully I will be planting stuff in the beds soon.

I have however actually finally planted something, in fact a few things. Yesterday I spent a very happy couple of hours tidying the greenhouse ready for use and then got down to planting things. I sorted the seeds by planting month and found I had a few things that needed to go in

So Peppers, Tomatoes and Broccoli were potted and placed in the heated propagator. 

More to be done today, and then its the wait for the first sprout to appear. Cant wait. I am finally growing vegetables. 

And finally the Chickens. They spent the first 24 hours inside as recommended and so yesterday morning I opened the door into the run and waited for them to emerge, it was either too cold or they were too comfortable but an hour later, there was still no sign of them in the run. I tried to shoo them out but they wouldn't budge, so I resorted to blackmail, A trail of corn was laid from the hut to the run and finally one of the hens started to show some interest. 

I waited as long as I could but eventually had to go out so Jim watched them while he was outside and eventually very briefly they came out!

I am just off now to open the doors again so maybe they will come out for a bit longer today.

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