Over the weekend while Adrian has been busy adding a shrubbery to the hen run, my job has been to get the veggie patch ready for planting. Spring is nearly upon us and our seeds are sitting in their little packets on the kitchen shelf just bursting to get out and transform themselves into plants. We have carrots, beetroot, turnips, parsnips kale, cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach and different types of salads all waiting to go into the ground.
The veggie patch has been left practically untouched since the autumn, Adrian mulched a couple of beds in November and planted some garlic, but since then it’s been left to its own devices.
As a result the weeds which took residence last summer were still very much there, and of course, there were plenty of old stalks left over too.
I knew I was in for a long haul so on Saturday morning, I booted up, rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in.
After digging out endless piles of nettle roots and couch grass, (I don’t remember seeing that last year!) six docks, zillions of buttercups and willowherb, I got the weeding and clearing done by the end of the day.
I quite enjoy weeding if I’m honest and the weather was fairly sunny which made the job much more bearable. It’s still cold as we’re only in February, but there’s a hint of early spring in the air and a feeling of things about to burst into growth which I love. I saw lots of compost worms as I was weeding away which was very heart warming, I love worms, they do such a great job and we’ve built up quite a population over the last few years.
We use the “no dig” method so apart from weeding, we don’t dig the soil, we just pile on mulch every year and let the worms do the rest. The result has been a huge increase in worms and a really lovely crumbly soil, much improved from when we first dug our veggie patch out five years ago.
Now all that there is left to do before the “big planting ceremony”, is to add several tons of rotted down sheep dung to the freshly weeded beds. I’ll be doing this on Thursday and using the big pile of dung that I heaped up after deep cleaning the sheep shed last month.
Roll on spring!