Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mid July Doings

 With the plants all in and growing, it's time to do other things.  This area used to be a herb bed, but got overgrown and suffered from an invasion of mint.  I have been digging mint out of here for the last 12 months and have almost won the battle though I will have to remain vigilant.  Tip: never, ever let mint escape from a pot!  My plan here is to extend the rhubarb bed by splitting the plants you can just see at the top.
 The ground here slopes and soil washes downhill.  So I need to build a small retaining wall at the lower edge to retain it.  I dug out a small trench for some foundation bricks.  I found these years ago near where I live in an old stable, now demolished.  On top of these I put some concrete lumps and a few bits of breeze block, and then finished it off with stone pieces, again from the village and most likely bits of demolished toilets!
 The wall looks a little bit messy but it is actually quite sturdy, I took a lot of care fitting stone pieces together, in a drystone wall style.  Soil will gradually fill in some of the gaps and consolidate it.  I'll let the ground settle a bit, then weed it again and cover it with compost and manure to improve the soil.
 Next problem - weed and brambles smothering my apple trees.  I chopped the brambles right back, I have kept some in an area to the right where they don't get in the way as I really like blackberries but they are invasive and have to be controlled.  I also discovered a young ash tree that must have been there a year or two but I hadn't spotted.
 I can actually see the apple trees again.  I took the opportunity to thin the apples, removing excess and weak fruit.  The June drop actually happened in July this year given the late spring, but the youngest tree in particular needed thinning due to the weight.
 First redcurrants are picked, the start of the busy soft fruit season for me. Blackcurrants next. 
Lots of strawberries, and an opportunity for strawberry and redcurrant jam!
Post a Comment