The dry weather since the start of the year has been a welcome relief for our soil,
after all the rain last year. Apart from a few pockets of sticky ground, most of our land
has dried up nicely, allowing us to get on with our tractors and start preparing for our
first crops – due to be planted and sown from mid-April.
We start by flail mowing and then follow with the plough. The flail mower minces up
the vegetation so that after the ground is turned over by the plough the plant material
incorporates quicker into the soil – a useful bit of kit. As well as the dry weather,
we’ve been very pleased to have so many frosts, which have helped break up the
ploughed ground really well.
We will soon use a power harrow to improve the tilth on the growing beds, and
hopefully fit in a couple of weed strikes to kill off early flushes of weed seedlings
before our crops go in the ground. First in will be leeks, lettuce, spinach and radish.
In the meantime, we are just trying to finish off the last of our winter jobs – organising
our newly extended building, maintaining and adjusting machinery, rolling up nets
and gapping up hedges, amongst other things.
After a disastrous year last year, the drier weather, longer days and brighter
sunshine have definitely raised our hopes for a good season ahead. The early signs
of spring are already there – the lapwings are back, the hares are more active,
and it won’t be long before the first swallows arrive. Let’s hope the good weather
continues: everything seems possible when the sun shines!