Monday, 1 July 2013

Difficult Digging

The weekend wasn't too bad, reasonably mild with some sunny periods but with a persistently strong breeze blowing most of the time.

On the plot I had one last bed to dig over ready for some peas and french beans. This bed had grown potatoes last year and had been well dug over in autumn when the potatoes were lifted. Any weeds that had grown over winter and early spring had been cleared a couple of weeks ago. Although it’s been a dry month I didn't anticipate it would be too difficult to prepare this bed. How wrong I was. I'd anticipated giving it a quick tilling but once I got the machine working I realised the ground had become too hard for the tiller to work. There wasn't much else for it so I dug the bed by hand. 

It was hard going with the soil remaining in large dry clods as it was turned over. A dry June had certainly had an effect.
Even a few hefty blows with the back of the fork didn't do much to break up the ground and it definitely wasn't a fine tilth suitable for planting into. Fortunately though my tiller does act as a pretty good sort of harrow at breaking up this sort of soil. After several passes with it I managed to get the soil into what I considered a suitable condition for planting. 
I raked in some fish blood and bone fertiliser before the bed was covered with weed control fabric ready for planting our Onward pot grown peas.
As we've no rain forecast over the next week it’s probably just as well I've no more beds to dig over on the plot. It looks like serious watering is going to be required.

Original post from A Gardener's Weather Diary author M Garrett


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