Hacking back the nettle patch

This was too tempting. Have you ever enjoyed pulling nettle roots out in the dormant growing months? It’s madly satisfying.

I was plodding past the plum bank on the way to chip the last of the sticks for mulch. But I was arrested by this juicy bank of nettles.

I was wearing my gauntlets (chipping thickness) so it took but a second to change tack and go for a bit of nettle removal.

The soil is soft and the roots yank away so easily.  And best of all, I now have my nettle ingredients for the compost brew months earlier than I planned.

I have a huge barrel at the far end of the stables; so I just wheelbarrowed over the roots and nettles and dumped them into the water.  I couldn’t possibly put these roots onto any of my compost heaps as they are not hot enough to break them down.  But drowning in a bucket of water (on a large scale) will do the trick.

The bank isn’t entirely denuded of roots; that will be for another day.  Besides, I did need to finish the chipping and get the mulch onto the ground. I filled three last bags and added them to the walnut bank.

My other job was one I also hadn’t planned on doing. But it was so sunny and mild that I simply had to stay outside and play.

And playing in the dirt suited the day.  I have gaps in my orchard lawn from the wild boar damage. And the time when Bebere and Etienne drove their truck along the orchard to lay the concrete in the stables.  They left a rut of subsiding earth.

I now have plenty of topsoil thanks to this work on the nettle removal.  But it felt absurd to be wasting this marvellous soil for just filling holes.  So I have started with the old trick of building up the base with small stones. And then piling the soil on top.

All I need to do now is sow the area with grass seeds. In weather this mild, it might even germinate.

Oh yes, and I got stuck into the compost bins to remove a few barrow loads of lovely black stuff for my cabbage beds. How can I have forgotten that?  I should have riddled (seived) the compost first.  But I couldn’t really be bothered. In the vegetable garden, it’s all good.