Sunday round up

finished steep bankI started the day with a rake and if felt as it if barely left my hands all day.   But it so wonderfully productive that I was almost looking upon it affectionately by 5pm.

One of the dubious pleasures of a chestnut farm is all the autumn produce.   Nuts yes, but also a huge number of burrs.   I have raked and raked and piled them in corners and onto the compost heap and all the paths almost look decent again. Rounded up you might say.

I didn’t have my camera for part of the day, so I must remember to snap some dull shots tomorrow.   But here’s one of which I’m proud.   More work on the very steep bank above the lawn.   I think it’s almost done.   One quick go with the strimmer tomorrow and a mow of the rakings to get it easier to break down in the compost bins and it’s done for the year.

starting cold frameAutumn is perfect for that. You start to get the feeling the growing season really is slowing down.   Maybe the lawn mowing I want to do will be the last tidy as well.   I think I say that every year and end up working the beast in November as well.

I need to be away from the farm for the next three weeks and I have been fretting (slightly) about all my cuttings. They haven’t taken enough to feel I have small plants rather than teensy seedlings that might all die.

So thinking of Teo and his amazing cold frame, I have decided to create a mini version of my own.   Just to see if I can trap some moisture around the plants, keep them warmish and hopefully find them alive in November. plants in cold frame

Bucket and spade time. Oh and a quick search on the internet about cold frame positioning. South. So that means the front of my potting shed.

I have dug down to a depth of the blue plastic storage boxes one always has on farms.   This is only a temporary measure, but it might work.   I had bought this heavy two metre long window (double glazed) two years ago thinking it might work as a cold frame one day.

finished cold frameIdeally I should excavate a veritable coffin of soil, line the area with bricks and fix the glass snugly to the back and sides.   Next month perhaps.   Probably next year. But for now I’m going to see how this system works.

What else did I get up to on this perfect grey blustery cool day? Mulching.   The calamagrostis grasses that flank the shade garden are extraordinary sentinels.   They are forming a mini hedge (ran out of money for yet another stone wall) and have not been watered all year.   mulched eragrostis

The poor plants are putting up a valiant struggle against my neglect. So today I awarded them prizes for good behaviour by pouring a bucket of home made compost around each base, and a handful of bonemeal.   All I need to do is actually water them and they will feel pampered indeed.