Update

I hate been a terrible blogger lately. So first, welcome to new followers! I am just keeping up with reading and posting a few short blogs at present due to the endless sunny dry days here and the continuous gardening. It is prime time for sowing and preparing fruit and veg - so if we want to eat for rest of year it has been hours and hours of work.

My husband has been playing with seep hoses to cut time in watering later in the summer. he has set up the polytunnel with lots of lines which should serve right through the tomato crop later in the summer.


He has used spare lengths to water some seed beds out in the veg bed. It means reconnecting hose ends up but we at least do not have to actually stand there for ages watering all summer.
It is incredibly dry here already and we have had to stop weeding. The top surface dries to a crust and you can't dig it. You end up snapping tops of weeds leaving the roots to regrow.  Instead we have endless hours of setting up bird protection on brassicas. Canes, net, string, wire ground hoops to hold it down. Now we have to wait for a windy spell to see if we have made it strong enough.
The water bottles rattle in even a gentle breeze and do seem to put off some birds. The nearest net is a plastic mesh meant for pond covering and in this configuration makes a whistling, howling, sound in a direct breeze which is off putting to me at least!

For the fruit we thought we would try these "fruit cage ball connectors for every size cane". Totally useless in our opinion unless there is some trick that is not obvious (no instructions came with the things!).
They only work with 10 to 12 mm canes and anything less than 8mm just fell out.. We really need 15mm strong canes due to the open nature and we needed some height too. Also bamboo canes are not uniform so you end up chopping up canes to find the right lengths and diameters to go in the connecting holes. After 20 canes we found a hacksaw gave a clean cut as long as the second person kept up steady pressure and pulled gently away as the cut went through. We ended up reinforcing uprights with an extra cane, tied on with string, and will probably put in supporting diagonals as well.

Bit more work to do on fruit cages (blackcurrants, blueberries and Tay berries) as we want to get ahead on this task. Last year we were busy as the fruit ripened and lost out to the birds.  Raspberries and gooseberries will have to take their chances and I will throw something loose over the strawberries outside as they ripen.

I am trying out a new bird scary thing.
Not scary at all?
Inspired by "tin art" on Pin interest. A bean can (washed), with wings etc made from those woven plastic straps that come round parcels. The tin was slit with a knife and the straps fastened with an ordinary stapler inside. The eyes come in a pack of 20 for £1 from The Works and have been stuck on with UHU glue.  The eyes are a bit too big, they sort of overlap, so we will have to see if they survive rain and wind (when we get some).   I have some more cans and straps and may paint them in bright colours.

 OK - back to work. Want to put in some peas but need to out fox the mice!  But |I will pause to admire this wonderful Spiraea and the wallflowers on the way.



Comments

  1. Goodness you have been busy with everything. Love you bird scarer - very cute - probably not the plan :-)
    Good luck with the seep hoses, we tried them in a polytunnel but due to hard water or bits in water tanks they blocked up after a year and we went back to watering cans - more precise.... Although hard work when we had 3 Poly t's!

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    Replies
    1. The more fibrous ones did not work well in the tunnel so replaced with a plastic type. I then washed the fibrous ones in a barrel and that seemed to make them work better so used on outside beds.

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  2. I hope you get lots of brilliant crops from all of your very hard work.
    Love that bird scarer-x-

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  3. I watered our garden today, it's hard work but worth it.

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  4. You have been very busy. We are still waiting to get into our garden, the ground is still frozen, but at least the snow is finally all gone.

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Gosh, I bet it will all come quickly!

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