Thursday, 4 November 2010

A Toad in the Netting

This warm November weather is quite amazing. Yesterday I spent several hours up at the plot generally tidying, weeding and harvesting, with just a thin tee shirt and summer weight trousers. I'm very glad I went up there because I found a toad caught in the netting around the brussel sprouts. He seemed exhausted from struggling to get free. I carefully disentangled him, gently put him amongst the strawberries where I knew I would not be working, and he seemed to recover well and crawl away beneath the leaves.
This summer I ran out of space for the courgettes, marrows and squashes, so I covered one of the paths across the plot with black cloth (the sort used to smother weeds) and piled manure onto it before covering the resulting heap with soil into which I planted the cucurbits. They thrive on this treatment - the heap becomes warm as it rots beneath the plants, and they are provided with a rich growing medium, which they love, and it doesn't dry out in the driest of summers. The benefit now at the end of the year is that I have a plentiful supply of well rotted manure which I am using to top dress all around the plot where needed - for example on the asparagus bed, around the flowers in the flower bed, and around the cabbages, sprouts, spinach, etc. which i am still harvesting.

I am well pleased with my handiwork. The plot is beginning to look very neat and tidy, ready for the quieter winter months ahead, and there is still an amazing amount of produce to see us through the next few dreary winter months.

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