Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Bill has been planting Christmas trees this week. These Nordman firs are only 30 centimetres high but are already four years old. They are raised in one bed for two years, then transferred to another bed for a year, then to another bed for a further year and then transplanted into their growing space. By moving them every year, the root growth is restricted which should stop the tree growing too vigorously and so will produce a tighter tree.
Once the trees have been planted we need to keep the ground around them clear so will hand pull any weeds that appear. Our most damaging pest is the rabbit, so the field is netted to keep rabbits out. Over the years, we will give the trees some fertiliser and prune them to a good shape.
On our heavy soil it will take at least seven years for these trees to grow to 1.25 metres, which is the height we will start to cut them for selling at Christmas time.
Friday, 18 February 2011
Monday, 14 February 2011
Despite the scarecrows, gas guns, pigeon shooters and regular walks around the fields, the pigeons have managed to eat a lot of oilseed rape over the past weeks. So now every day is pigeon patrol day in an effort to keep them up in the air and off the crop.
The plants in the left photo have had their large green leaves stripped by the pigeons; they should look like the second photo.
The bird scarer is having some effect as the field is much greener there than in the other part of the field where the pigeons have been grazing.