Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Horse Manure - Lovely Stuff!

 As the weather is warming slowly, I need to get on with preparing beds for planting as the long winter has got me behind.  Horse manure is a wonderful soil conditioner, but not in this fresh state!  I have known inexperienced gardeners put this straight on their beds, but that is a really bad idea...
 ... what you need is this, composted for a year, it rots down into dark black Gardeners Gold, full of earthy goodness.
 I've been rough digging some beds, now I have dumped some manure on top, ready for the final weeding and soil prep.  This bed has some weeds around the edges and particularly at the top, which is a problematic area needing to be tackled this year.  This is going to be the new strawberry bed, it's a sunny spot with light soil so should be good for them.  I've also roughly prepared the potato bed and manured the pea and bean bed, so I feel like I'm getting on nicely now.  My Under Gardener (my Mum) does the final weeding as (a) she's good at it, (b)  she finds digging too hard and (c) she says she's rubbish at planting and sowing (some truth in that!) so she does the final soil prep for me.
 Elsewhere, the purple sprouting broccoli is recovering from its wood pigeon attack.

 I have sowed summer cabbage, lettuce, spinach and chard this week, all under cloches for protection.
And the soft fruit is almost ready to flower - here's a gooseberry flower teasing me.  Just need some more warm weather now to bring everything on.
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