Ok. So March was less than organised. But April. Well April is a new month. A whole new, well-organised, new month. Washed clean by all the rain. And boy; when they talk about April showers, they really mean April showers. The sky has been varying shades of grey for the last four days. My kayak may have floated away briefly at one stage. I even took pity on the guard dog and brought her in one of the nights. The hens were safe and sound so we did not have a repeat of the duck incident. Ah the ducks. They would have loved it……
So what’s the new organised me going to do?
Well first thing is pick myself up from the floor. Organised. What a joke! Wonderfully optimistic and completely naïve is more like it. But I’m not going to change at this stage. And to be honest, I think sometimes the world needs people to be a bit more optimistic and a bit more innocent. Life is too cynical. But that perhaps is another story for another day’s blog post.
So, the freshly revived optimistic me has plans for this month. I think April is kind of crucial to getting things going in the smallholding. Really it’s a busy time for gardeners everywhere. Everyone is sowing and planting out and the really organised are even harvesting their first crops at this stage. I cannot stress enough that I do not fall in to the latter group. But my organisation has been slowly improving. I did get things sown in March. They will need pricking out and planting in to bigger modules until they get more established. I even went so far as to buy some potting compost for seedlings. It was on special offer and we all know how much I like a special offer!
I think I’ll start doing second sowings of some of the salads and peas and beans. I ended up with a glut of lettuce last year that all came in at once. Much of it ended up as food for slugs or bolting. I convinced myself that I was letting it go to seed as part of an experiment. No one else believed me.
With everything going on with Mr. Fairweather with his work, fractured rib and then having to get his appendix out, the raised beds have been shunted off to one side. He is back fighting fit now and promises to get them going for me soon. He’d better. Otherwise I’ll have nowhere to plant out my seedlings when the time comes! I told him all he has to do is put them together. The Little Paddler and I will fill them. She has her wheelbarrow and buckets at the ready. Granted when we filled the tyres, she got a bit confused about whether we were emptying the wheelbarrow contents in to the tyres or the tyre contents on to the ground but we can work on that.
I am just starting to read up about straw bale gardening. I have threatened for a while to do it. I think now is the time to get the bales conditioned and figure out what else I can grow in them besides tomatoes.
When the weather warms up, I’ll open up my hives to inspect. Just from cursory inspections which involves standing off to one side of the hive entrance with cup of tea in hand on a sunny day, I think I have lost one established hive and one nuc. That’s ok considering they received nothing but neglect. It’ll also make it easier for me to concentrate on building up two good hives this year as I can use the spare supers and frames in my two surviving colonies. Beekeeping gets expensive!
Raspberries desperately need tidying up and the currants and rhubarb need mulching put down around them.
We are trying to get a bit of a gorse hedge established along the ditch beside our
lane avenue. Last year we let the gorse growing wild go to seed. Small seedlings have sprouted on the ditch and along the avenue surface. Mr. Fairweather reckons all we have to do is pull them up and toss them up on to the ditch where we want them and nature will do the rest. Sounds simple.
Get more ducks. These ones will not be so free range this time. They’ll have to make do with the pen. But the guard dog is on a zip line at night that runs right up to the duck pen. I dare a fox to brave it. I cannot wait to see the Little Paddler’s face when we produce ducklings for her for the first time!