Thursday 30 March 2023


I'm getting the veg patch ready for this year's plants.   Today I built the bean frame for the climbing beans, with bamboo poles given to me by Leo.   The tomato stakes are in, although the tomatoes are only at the two leaf stage.  I have decided to try out the idea of watering them by using plastic bottles with holes in, buried in the ground next to the plants.   Porous terra cotta pots are in favour at the moment, as a water saving device, but they're way too expensive relative to the value of veg that they water.   The plastic pots are free.

There is manure on the bed next to the tomato bed; this area is for brassicas and I will need to rotovate the compost in before I plant them out.   

I have mowed the grass area next to the veg patch, but I read that dandelions are one of the bee's most valuable sources of food at this time of year so I have carefully avoided mowing them. 

Sunday 26 March 2023

Wood splitting

You might have seen ads for these tapered drills, promoted for splitting wood for the fire.   I bought some, and yesterday I had occasion to split some oak logs that were a bit too big for the stove.  So I decided to try them out.

I got out my big SDS drill (about 1kW I think), fitted the bit and set to work on the oak log.  I stood on the log to steady it.  (It seems that this is what they do in the ads.)    The bit sank into the the wood, buried itself to about half its depth, at which point the log was still unsplit and the force needed to turn the bit was now greater than I could apply to the drill.  The drill forced its way out of my hands and whacked my arm. 

Now, faced with a jammed bit and an unsplit log,  I decide to withdraw the bit from the log to try again.   With the drill in reverse, I stand on the log, but this time it's the log that frees itself rather than the drill, and it rotated through half a circle and whacked my foot.

So I'm hopping about, cursing the world in general, but it's not until a while later that I decide to inspect the damage.   Corker of a bruise, eh?   I don't think I will be using those log-splitting bits again.  Not on oak, anyway.   Back to the axe.

Monday 20 March 2023

Powers of observation

I made the mistake of adding some nice crumbly compost from the compost heap, to commercial potting compost, before planting seeds in it.   Now we play "spot the tomato".

P.S. I found 7 so far.   Tomato seedlings can be indentified by their reddish stems that are covered in tiny hairs.

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