February has been colder and frostier than the rest of the winter put together so far. But that's ok, because we're now almost at the end, and it's light when i get out of bed in the morning, and when i collect my son from School, so all's well with the world.
I am feeling the spring wake up call this week.
There are Anemones starting to flower in the polytunnel.
The tulips are just starting to poke through the ground
and we've been busy as ever making beds and weeding.
I know that my no-dig beds are something i get asked the most questions about , - so here it is again.
When we first started, we stripped turf off the field, and then put on a good layer of Progrow compost to plant into. We thought we needed lovely grass paths in between the beds, but actually they just created a whole load of work, mowing, and edging, and seeding themselves into the beds.
So last year we set about filling in almost all the grass paths with additional beds.
We lay cardboard (with the plastic packing tape taken off, - that takes the longest!) onto the grass, and cover it in the middle with a thick layer of well rotted manure (provided by our lovely field neighbours in East Clandon) and then a decent layer of Progrow compost, and ensuring we make some bark chip paths on either side for us to walk on.
Within a couple of months, what looks like a funeral pyre, has settled down and become a lovely rich bed to plant annuals in, and by the following year, you wouldn't know where the added matter ends and the soil begins thanks to lots of earthworm work (unless you find packing tape that you didn't take off the cardboard)
Things are starting to grow, but our (far too) friendly wildlife have been in for their normal spring visit, (anyone want rabbit or venison?) so as we need a far lower attrition rate on our crops this year, we're resorting to covering everything at munching stage with Environmesh.
So far* It seems to be working
It does seem to mean that at the moment vast swathes of the field are covered in either plastic (keeping the weeds at bay) or Environmesh (protecting our newly planted crops) I'm hoping by the time of our first open days in April, the plants will be big enough to withstand the onslaught and i'll be able to take photos that don't make us look like a garage sale.
However blank the field seems though, there are corners of the farm and my garden that have lovely flowers already, so i'll leave you for now with a montage of some of the British Grown Flower displays that we've done this month.