A Good Day to Collect Seaweed

Overcast with outbreaks of rain through the morning, with some heavier bursts. From early afternoon the rain will mostly clear northeastwards, though remaining dull, damp and misty for most…

We were enveloped in cloud this morning; couldn’t see across the street to the Downs beyond. With cloud clinging to the hillside, it seemed a good day to collect seaweed.

The promenade and beach were quiet, apart from a few solitary souls out walking. Following the falling tide, as it retreated scattering seaweed across the shingle, we managed to collect six bags; but each time we collect there seems to be more detritus and ghost tackle snagged in the seaweed.

Added to the potato beds, it will be left to rot over winter in preparation for the coming year; but not today. In the grey light it was enough to pile the bags at the bottom of the allotment, check on the plants in the greenhouse, and add a layer of shredded paper to the worm bins to provide insulation, and bedding over winter. For some reason the bins have not been working properly, so we inoculated the waste with compost, full of worms, from the tea bin, and now the bins are smelling a lot sweeter, and there’s a great deal of worm activity on the surface and hopefully below too. Then the rain set in and we retreated to the shed.

…another fairly grey and damp day out there for many people…



Winter Work

It will be rather cloudy across southern England with outbreaks of rain, this turning heavy and persistent in places during the afternoon. Elsewhere there will be some sunshine, but also blustery showers…

Yesterday was miserable; a grey sullen day. A day to keep moving, working. Laying more wood chip on paths, sorting out beds ready to plant out garlic. And in between, stopping to have a cup of tea and a natter in the tea hut.

Such a difference today, mild in the sun. We’re preparing the potato beds; layers of seaweed; grass cuttings; crop remnants, topped off with a layer of composted wood chip from the paths. This will be left over winter, in preparation for planting potatoes in the spring.


Warm, in the Sun

A cloudless sky, warm too, at least in the sun, but that was deceptive; leaf litter crackled underfoot, and in places the ground frost didn’t thaw. A day to keep moving, working.

With the leaves all but gone we can start work on our hedges; see where we need to concentrate our attention, filling gaps, weaving, and pruning to encourage growth at the base. As the leaves have fallen, we’ve also discovered a Song Thrush’s nest in the oldest section, so at least one part of the hedge is beginning to be colonised.

The nest will be left over the winter months, we’re both intrigued to see what remains of it come next Spring.



Another Autumn day

It’s been calm today, a light wind blowing up the valley, but cold with it. Our neighbour across the valley has retrieved their polytunnel, or rather the frame. Looking at the wreckage a few days ago, a casualty of the storms that battered our coast, we thought it had been comprehensively demolished, but the frame looks intact, at least from where we’re standing, and covering can be replaced.

We’ve been working on the garlic bed; open composting with the remnants of earlier crops, and then covering with a layer of seaweed, and today covering with compost from the paths. We lay woodchip every year and find that after a couple of years the wood chip has been trodden into the path, and rotted, making wonderful compost. We dig the paths out, replace with wood chip, start the process again; in a couple of years the compost/path will be ready to spread across beds again.

These are shorter days now; sitting in the shed drinking tea in the fading light is a lovely way to watch the day pass.