times they are a changin…

and I’m not just talking about the weather, though it was a relief to have the rain over recent days.

Well, it was a different story a week back.  Lots of glorious sunshine, which was timely.  As the lovely OH and I get older it means that we have to find ways to reduce the ‘graft’ on the holding.  I’ve been reading a number of Charles Dowding’s books and we’ve decided to move towards a ‘no-dig’ approach.

First up this year is using mulches for earthing up potatoes instead of soil, because if there is one thing we don’t have any shortage of here is grass.

The first and second early potatoes were planted a few weeks ago in about 4 inches in soil which I topped up with another 4 inches of old hay.  Charles Dowding prefers to use compost to mound up rather than hay or grass as his experience is that the latter attract too many slugs. We shall see.

The main crop potatoes went in more recently and in addition to using up our old bales we are applying grass clippings.  The lovely OH cut the grass in a number of locations which I then gathered up

and spread over the main crop planting area.   As the haulms emerge we will earth up with more grass clippings.  Hopefully the harvesting of the potatoes will be easier and the mulch should suppress weeds and help to conserve soil moisture and thereby reduce watering. We hope.

Since those sunny days, we have been away and it’s quite astonishing the amount of growth that has happened whilst the rain fell.  We have come back to an abundance of greenery. Even the indoor sowings of corn, french and runner beans have all sprouted away like triffids. Amongst all the green lushness, the first poppies have appeared  in the wildflower verge, their colour standing out as bright as a fifties starlet’s lipstick.

It’s good to be back home.



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