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Sunday morning was dull but the sun came out in the afternoon.
As I’d planned. it was time to dig over the bed where the green manure had been growing over winter. As it was warm and sunny I decided to let my cultivator do the hard work of tilling the bed. It was surprising just how hard and dry this patch of ground had become. It was hard work even with the help of a cultivator as it struggled to break into the soil. Our soil does have a high clay content and once it dries out it becomes more like concrete than soil. Digging and breaking up this ground by hand would have been a long and back breaking job.
Eventually I thought the bed was cultivated to a suitable depth. Ideally I would have liked to dig over the ground a little deeper but didn’t think it was going to be possible. This bed grew potatoes last year and was dug over to a fork’s depth early last autumn when the potatoes were harvested so I expected it to be in better condition than this having grown the green manure crop over winter.
At the moment then the jury’s out on the benefits of growing a green manure crop over winter. Certainly it kept the weeds down but did it take a lot of the moisture out of the ground. Perhaps it should have been dug in much earlier but doing that in early spring would mean lots of weeds would have germinated by now. Maybe the ground has just dried out as it’s a few weeks now since we had any significant rainfall.
Our runner beans Enorma, Desiree, and St George together with a wigwam of climbing french beans Cobra were planted. We’ll definitely have to keep these well water until we get some decent rainfall.
A Change but Still Dry
The weather changed over the last couple of days and the long sunny periods have given way to cloudy conditions. It hasn’t resulted in any rain only some very light drizzle for a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s now almost a month since we had any decent amount of rainfall. My weather station estimates the amount of moisture lost from the soil each day. The rainfall over the last month has easily been lost from the recent sunny weather. Time we had some rain as it always seems to have a much better effect than any amount of watering.
Winds of Change
Since the beginning of the month the predominant wind direction has been easterly. On Wednesday that changed with the wind moving back into a westerly.
The sunshine disappeared but so too did the rather chilly overnight temperatures which mean that although we didn’t have the highest monthly temperature we did have the highest daily average temperature of the month at 16.6°C. Surprisingly for such a rather nondescript sort of a day that’s the highest average daily temperature this year.
I potted on our two jostaberry cuttings which had accidentally grown on the plot when one branch came into contact with the soil producing some very nice rooted plants.
These are both destined to be given away to good homes this week. I’ve a couple of smaller cuttings still to pot up but these will need to be grown on for a while to produce good plants.
Just a Drop
We had our first measurable rainfall of the month on Thursday. It wasn’t much amounting to only 0.6mm.
The rain started as we arrived at the plot so we were forced to have a coffee sitting in our shed for 30 minutes until the rain passed. It wasn’t enough to even dampen the top of the soil and we weren’t stopped from getting our courgettes and cabbages planted out.
We planted out cabbages Hispi and Huzaro which is a red cabbage. We’re growing three varieties of courgettes this year Jemmer, Tondo Chiaro di Nizza, and Zucchini.
I’m trying to keep an updated list of all our sowings and planting here but it’s quite a task this month with sowing, pricking out and planting out in the plot going on most days.