Mid-season Tidy

It was a long day yesterday and I barely had time to stop let alone complete the blog. So here it is, very late! I walked down early to make a start. The greenhouse and the shed needed cleaning and tidying, weeding and general sorting amongst other jobs. It was going to be a busy day!

As soon as I arrived, I opened up the shed and put up the sail. I checked on Leia and Pop who had between them knocked over both food bowls and the water bowl. Typical. I moved Pop into the run, topped up their water and made sure Pop could reach it. Assessing what needed to be done, I decided to take out the old food, poo and bedding in the run first. It was a quick job but important as some of the knocked over food had got wet and it’s important that it was removed as this can cause chickens issues such as sour crop and canker. Run all tidy, I moved onto feeding the girls in the main coop.

Aggie was waiting for me – I tried to give her a wide birth as she has started to peck me. I threw out their treats and topped up Leia and Pop’s food bowls. Taking the food back up to the patio, Pop and Leia immediately tucked into their breakfast. The sun was out so I adjusted the shade cover to keep Pop out of the direct sunlight.

As I was sorting out Pop and Leia, Tracy shouted hello. I haven’t seen her for well over a week. We had a quick chat and I borrowed her soft brush for sorting out the greenhouse. I swept the old bedding up and lugged it down to the compost bins. I rearranged some of the things in the greenhouse to try and keep as much of the space clear as possible. It was beginning to look better so I moved onto the shed.

I have been dreading doing the shed. It’s not a big job if you do it regularly, but I have been putting off for weeks. I took everything out. This was much easier with the veranda. Previously, you risked crushing crops as there wasn’t any room to put stuff safely. Using the broom, I cleared the floor and even got rid of some of the cobwebs in the corners. The bonus of using a broom is that if the cobweb is inhabited, you aren’t anywhere near the evil beast.

Once the floor was clean, I spent a good while trying to work out how to fit in the mushroom logs in a dark part of the shed, both chairs, various tools and other sundries. As I was starting to get some of the bigger bits in, the heavens opened. I made two piles, one for the greenhouse and one for the shed. Rapidly, I put everything into the shed that would fit and the remaining items into the greenhouse. I rather like the new shed layout. As an added benefit, I got rid of two big bags of rubbish and cleared out some other bits which could go home.

The next job was to continue to tame the willow arch. The trimming worked to stop it being an unruly jungle but it still has a tendency to lean over the path. Using twine and the new secateurs, I stood in the pouring rain wrestling with the willow. Halfway through, my husband appeared to collect the rubbish and any eggs. Rey was, yet again, the only one laying. He took the rubbish and dashed home to dry off. Another ten minutes saw the willow trussed up to within an inch of it’s life.

By now, the rain had stopped. Perfect timing really, I was completely drenched. I pottered across to say hello to Sarah and Andy who were busy beavering away on their plot. Sarah offered me courgettes which I gratefully accepted as they were a key ingredient for tonight’s dinner. Placing them at the bottom of the plot, I ran into Phil. We discussed the bee swarm which appeared yesterday morning from Hive 1. Single handedly, he managed to catch the swarm, ensuring the Queen was in the new nuc box and using Jeyes fluid to encourage any remaining bees to follow the Queen into the new hive. It was all very impressive!

Next job was to do some weeding. I chose some of the bottom sections of the plot, picking out the larger weeds. The smaller weeds can be easily sorted using a hoe another day. I need to hoe more as it’s a great way to keep weeds down easily and quickly.

Realising I had forgotten to water the loofa plants, I headed back to the greenhouse to sort them out. Beside the shed, I decided to finally move the stuff blocking the shortcut to the back of the greenhouse. Three bags of plant pots were moved, pots cleared of their old soil and stacked neatly made a big difference. It’s been over a year since I have been able to use this path and it’s great to have it back. Ideally when Pop regains her legs, I will move her and Leia into another coop so I can have my pot garden on the patio.

Watering done, greenhouse and shed tidy and clean so it was time to go home to help with sorting out the house. We had friends coming over for a socially distanced dinner. I had left the allotment in as best state as possible for the visitors.

As our friends arrived a few hours later, we all walked down to the allotment. It’s lovely being able to share how special our site is with others. We sat on the veranda after a quick tour of our plot with a few drinks. Before we left, we gave them the tour of the site. Marc was really rather taken with the idea of getting his own chickens and a plot for himself. Allotmenting is rather infectious!

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