Late this afternoon, I ambled down to the allotment. I had hoped that the weather would have warmed up during the course of the day, but no such luck! Wrapping up warmly, I filled the big water bottle with hot water and used it as a hand warmer as I walked to the plot. The real reason for taking hot water down is to help melt the ice in the chicken’s water bowls, but if it works as a hot water bottle, then all the better!
My first job was to sort out the chickens. Maude and Mavis greeted me with loud demanding clucks and were not impressed with the lack of treats. Promising them I would go and get some, I headed over to the main coop. Flora is clearly back on top and noisily greeted me as I walked in. To stop her from getting under my feet, I threw out a handful of sunflower seeds. Once the ice was fished out of the water, I topped it up and headed over to the New Coop. I discovered the New Coop was half frozen with an unbelievably thick layer of ice on one side.
In the New Coop, the three littlest bantams were huddled up together in the nest box. I was absolutely shocked. They have never used it, even refusing to sleep in it when the overnight temperature was below -5 degrees! Idiotic birds! I picked up Gertie who I am certain is blind in one eye. She sticks close to Elsie and Foxy and seems to be managing quite well. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on her to make sure she’s coping and eating well.
With all the girls sorted, I grabbed the secateurs and began to prune the fruit trees. The thicker branches, I left as they would need tree loppers to cut them back. But once the smaller branches were trimmed back, the fruit section seemed clearer and definitely easier to access. The larger branches or the high ones that need pruning can be done with a ladder and loppers another day. I searched around for something quick to do before heading home. I realised I had forgotten to pull out the remnants of the wildflowers. Pulling them out was ridiculously quick considering how much time and effort it takes to grow them!
My final job before I left was to clear the greenhouse. It’s been on my list of things to do for weeks. Clearing the seed trays was oddly satisfying as I pondered what we would be growing in them this year. With those neatly stacked, I moved on to ripping out the tomato plants. Fortunately, they all came out easily and I deposited the remains on the compost heap. Grabbing the brush, I swept the floor and reorganised the potting bench.
Rather cold and with the light rapidly disappearing, I closed up the shed and the greenhouse. Pleased with today’s work and with a head full of ideas about the new growing season.