|Frosted Nettles last week in my garden|
Each morning I dutifully traipse out to the garden, wellies on and bleary-eyed looking like an even more confused and concerning Milton Jones. Trust me I don’t do this for fun at this time of year but to see to the animals and check all is well in my world. My lazy fashions have moved with the seasons from shorts to pyjamas and more recently to jeans, which will invariably lead to me breaking out more weatherproof attire given that the first frosts have kindly silvered my half-awake morning follies.
The first growing season in my new home is over and despite only being here a matter of months I think it’s been a fairly productive venture. I have produced a decent haul of vegetables, fruits and salads and my first folly in to meat production remains underway with more posts to come on that in good time. Suffice to say that the productive garden is now in it’s final throws. The greenhouse is ready for a deep clean and it’s only animal resident, Trevor the tortoise, is now set for his long and peaceful hibernation, although a safe place is yet to be found.
I like this time of year. It’s the time of year to look ahead and formulate a plan. I do love a plan!
Next week I’ll take delivery of a new hen house, which will mean the laying flock will move and their old shed dismantled and burned. This will make way for the new and improved vegetable garden, something I’ve been waiting to sink my teeth in to since I moved here. This is the next large project on my list and will see the vegetable garden more than triple in size ensuring a large and varied harvest next year and the flexibility to grow new things that I’ve been unable to grow in previous gardens and on my allotment plots. Pumpkins, permanent crops and the weird and wonderful are all on the list along with a large cut-flower garden and an orchard. As discussed in previous posts I’ll be using a no-dig method to establish each bed with the addition of cardboard, compost, straw and manure to what is now largely lawn. I’m open to trying a few methods here so suggestions are welcomed and I’ll be happy to report back on my findings.
Next week, the hens I hatched this year will move in with the laying flock to bolster numbers and make up for the eggs not forthcoming from some of the older ladies and the meat birds will move on to grow in a new pen for fattening up. At present the majority of the laying flock are moulting heavily and are in need of some TLC, so along with promises of a new home they're also being treated with lashings of poultry spice and other goodies added to their food and they’re being wormed, which any decent chicken keeper will tell you is an essential task in preventing illness or loss of condition. You can find more information here on worming your hens. Earlier in the week the lovely Issy from Fennel & Fern also wrote a similar post, which you may wish to take a peek at here: Porridge for chickens.