BBC Countryfile Winter Diaries

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-17-16-49For those who missed it, have a virtual tour of a couple of the polytunnels and leeks patch courtesy of the BBC Countryfile Winter Diaries team last Tuesday morning! They came to film in mid-January on a rather nippy windy day, to see what you can grow in the winter, and also to get some tips on how to build a hot bed. (Series 1, episode 2, first broadcast on Tuesday 14th February.)

 

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Making the Hot Bed

20170210_133033Yes it’s that time of year again, when I make up a hot bed (or homemade ‘hot box’), ready to help propagate heat-loving seedlings such as tomatoes and peppers. We put the frame back in the Little Tunnel a week or so ago so the wood could dry out after standing out in the cold for months; and then today I filled it up with barrow-loads of fresh horse manure, soiled straw and wood shavings from the nextdoor horse stables. I added a bit of water as I went, just to ensure that the straw wasn’t too dry for all that lovely biological activity to happen. Then I turbo-screwed in the ply-wood front, filled the frame up to the top with more manure and straw/shavings, and finally placed the old recycled door on top which acts as a lid/bench top for the module trays to stand on. Hopefully in a few days the heap temperature will have crept up to around 60-70C, then started to drop down again; to leave us with a nice warm 10-20C continuous heat for sowing the seedlings next week!20170210_14412720170210_143712

Deer Me: Caught in the Act

deerme_smallerProof of the culprits hanging around the field & polishing off the leaf beet – and digging holes in inconvenient places! These two roe deer appear next to the hedge,  by a pile of brassica stems from last winter which we left piled up to attract hedgehogs and other wildlife – seems to have done the trick anyway! Who says badgers aren’t territorial?!