A trim strim

Strimmer work. Armed with the instructions and a newly cleaned strimmer blade it was time to work on the paths. I have the starting procedure going much more smoothly now; but the technique for strimming leaves a lot to be desired. I seem to operate a sort of scorched earth policy, rather than a neat strim. Bald patches appear when I spend too many seconds in the same place trying to kill a dandelion plant or a more recalcitrant clump of weeds. It still takes hours, but at least the paths look beautifully trim. I even had a go under the apple trees which were knee high with weeds. That was a bit lively. Strimmer bouncing around madly as it came into contact with old rotting apples and random bits of stick that had been stored there over winter. It took a few goes to clear all the mess from around the strimmer blade, but eventually I stopped and stepped back to admire. 

Taking a long swig of water in the shed reminded me that the slugs needed their drop as well. Topped up all the beer traps and cleared out the ghastly floating corpses. The wind had picked up by now and really strong gusts were battering the garden. My poor just-planted lemon verbena bush lost a top branch after being battered by the shed door. I have to find a way to secure it shut during high winds. Not having a lock or a door handle does mean it rattles about a bit. (It is usually secured shut by a brick and a pot of hellebores.) But the lid of the cold frame managed to stay secure.

Time left in the afternoon to dig my manure trenches for the pumpkins. To my joy I discovered the soil under the black cloth is gorgeous. It has been protected under cover for a whole year. It cuts easily with a spade and is the texture of a rich piece of chocolate mud cake. Good enough to eat – but it went onto the potato plot instead. I need to earth up the potatoes (something I am putting off every trip) a bit more, and adding soil seems to be the best cheat’s way to do it.

I dug two big trenches and poured in some gooey rich farmyard manure. Topped with soil and in went the little pumpkin plants. The poor plants look so tiny beside this enormous amount of trench work; hope they survive.  I added beer traps nearby and wished them luck.