First whole weekend outdoors

What a beautiful weekend we had here in North East England.  It was glorious for a Winter’s day in February.  It’s due to turn cold by the end of the week again, so I’ll be sure not to get caught out.
After the usual daily/weekend jobs I started as I meant to go on and got the peas moved to the poltyunnel as they are looking nice and strong and rather big in their modules.  I know we risk losing them, but I am sowing every couple of weeks so that I can mark off which sowing date was best for me. 
I moved the strawberries that were in little pots, taken from runners, to the polytunnel too, for an extra early lot.
I also got a bin of carrots sown.  I have another bin I will put some more in but I want to add sand to that one to compare.  On the below photo, I put the bubble wrap over the top to help germination.
Strawberries planted from 2016 finished plant runners
 Once I’d finished with the polytunnel, I took a stroll into the veg plot.  The garlic is growing very well, but something has had the first few cloves away.  This line went all the way down to the bottom of the bed before.
 
I then dug a bean trench and filled it with the compost bin’s contents.  I intend to dig another bean trench to the right of this one, leaving a gap, and filling that one with rotted muck.  That one will be for French climbing beans.  I’m using muck as I’ve no more compost from the veg peeling composter.
It was a day of pondering as I worked.  I have the area where the rescue hens lived in 2016 before the lockdown.  I think I would like to bring this area back to life as a flower garden/mini orchard.  There’s already lots of things in there at the back of the grassed area.  Last year, I was adamant that anything that didn’t provide food was to go.  However I’ve since learnt the importance of flowers, bees and pollination plus beneficial insects (not to mention the decline of the bee population).

 This is the area I was thinking about putting a few fruit trees, maybe an apple off Kev, a pear (already got) and almond?  I need to find out more about the fruit trees.  The space is quite big so I was thinking maybe I could make a bed for my berries and bushes that like ericaceous soil if I don’t put fruit trees in.  We do have 3 apple trees already, would 4 be too many?  Should I get another pear (the one I have is conference, self pollinating).  Decisions….

Whilst pondering this, I remembered I needed to cover another area of the plot that was all weeds last year with membrane, to hopefully eradicate them.  This is it:
Looking up and over the fence, I then started pondering something else…so I walked out to the front of the house and took a photo of what’s there.  I could tidy up around the bridle path sign and plant some wild hedging here, like Tricia suggested.
I have a wall that runs along the front of the house which is very long and south facing.  Now I don’t want anything high, as it’d stop the view from the rooms, but maybe I could grow peas, mini sunflowers or such like along the wall?

Whilst I was pondering, Ste was actually working.  He made a new feeder for the growers.  Their normal feeder is insider this bucket and they have to put their heads in the holes to get to it.  It stops them wasting it all as this bunch are terrible for that.  These guys will be back out soon hopefully.  The ban for my postcode is being lifted shortly.

He also lined the last bed with membrane and we set about filling it with muck, so that’s now done.  I just need topsoil for them all now, which I am ordering at the end of the month.
I saw my first dandelion emerging on Sunday which is telling me things are starting to grow and I need to start the weekly weed if I have any chance of survival this year.

 There wasn’t just me having fun in the veg plot.  Grace knows how to dig up the leeks.

Jack helped out too with the last of the sprouts.

 Steven did the man thing and had a fire!  Incidentally the weed bed I mentioned is behind this fire bin, pre cover up.

As I left the plot for the afternoon, I couldn’t help but look back and get that giddy feeling that all gardeners so as the season starts. 
As always, comments, questions and advice are welcome.  We’re very much learning as we go, jumping in both feet first.

An unplanned productive evening.

Last night I finished work, got the kids from school and as they were both tired and Grace was feeling under the weather, they pretty much went to bed as soon as they got in and had tea.  Nothing serious thankfully, just school kids and more germs, but it meant I somehow had a really productive evening.
I set about in the veg plot digging over part of the remaining bed that I’ve been avoiding.  If I take it an hour at a time, it’s more manageable than the thought of doing it all at once.  It’s about 1/3 to 1/2 done now so I am really pleased.  I’ve added more rotted manure in to the bit I’ve done tonight and hopefully come the weekend I will get the rest of the plants in there.  Then that leaves one more bed plus a space that’s previously been used for burning god knows what.  That will become my potato bed very soon.
So in between the veg plot, I had a guy come and collect some manure which combined with another couple over the last week has made an even bigger dent in the muck heap.  Once he had gone and I’d done what I set out to in the veg plot, I spent an hour in the field picking up a barrow of poo.  It’s back breaking work but it was actually quite therapeutic as it is so quiet, so relaxing that in the end I almost enjoyed it.
In the greenhouse the tomato plants have started showing lots of the yellow flowers which will become the fruit so I am now getting excited!!  How long until I can harvest my first tomato!!  Rhubarb & asparargus were divine, I wonder if the tomatoes will be!
Finally I watered my plants then put the animals to bed before collapsing into my own bed, ready to do it all again the next day, what could be better!


Dad started digging the bed for me last night which spured me in to doing more tonight.
This is one of the many muck bins, look at all those mushrooms growing!! 
Close up of one of the mushrooms
The muck heap has caved in as it’s started to rot.  3 months old, good stuff this sh1t!