Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Marvellous Monday: Bees, seeds and chickens!

Okay so technically Monday wasn’t necessarily marvellous but Sunday was impressive and consequently Monday is marvellous.
garden-licious

Sunday was Spud day. Planting seed potatoes is a job that, when done, brings tremendous satisfaction and back ache.

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The intensely beach, like soil requires ingenuity. We use a bulb planting tool to move plugs of soil for each seed potato.

We planted four kinds this year.

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White ballerina, another organic white (whose name I can’t find now) Raja and Violetta. So we’ve got red, white and purple varieties.

Meanwhile marvellous Monday is made more sound by the other allotment jobs that can be soundly ticked off.

Having brought a huge trailer full of well rotted leaf mulch over early on Saturday we had some great material to use.

We weeded and mulched the asparagus bed. Then the mulch also benefitted the raspberries, plum tree, currant bushes, Jerusalem artichokes, brambles, rhubarb and the main cold frame.

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I also planted perennial sweet peas so that’s another plant that should join forces with the holly hicks from last year to develop a flower bed we’ve added for the bees.

Bees

Then speaking of bees, we worked on the allotment hive. It’s a langstroth style hive.

During the winter it had a blanket box of wood shavings to help with insulation and absorb excess moisture.

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First we emptied out the shavings, then removed the box.

We also wanted to use a new method for giving the bees space.
In the main brood box we removed four frames of honey.

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Many keepers take honey in the Summer but we are experimenting with removing honey frames in the Spring, allowing the bees plenty of food over Winter. We replaced the honey frames with new empty frames.
This should help the bees feel they have enough room in the hive and help prevent a swarm.

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This frame has wooden supports in the middle rather than wire. It’s another experiment to avoid using metal in the hive as the bees don’t seem to like it.

Seedlings

After this yet more. We came home and started lots of seedlings.

More purple kohl rabi (as the last lot have not germinated) and black kale.
Coriander, thyme and basil.
Courgettes, gherkins and sweet dumpling squash.
I’m soaking purple French bean seeds and ying yang beans.
Purple carrots.

Chickens

Last but not least. The chickens had another outing.

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They did some weeding!

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18 comments on “Marvellous Monday: Bees, seeds and chickens!

  1. silverbells2012
    March 31, 2014

    What’s lead mulch?

    Good to get some help with the weeding 😉

    Like

  2. lindaswildlifegarden
    March 31, 2014

    Lovely post and I was also going to ask that question Helen

    Like

  3. Expat Eye
    March 31, 2014

    Is there anything you can’t do?!

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 31, 2014

      Ach I’m a great age now with no kids I have to keep myself busy!

      Like

      • Expat Eye
        March 31, 2014

        I’m not a bad age with no kids either!

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 31, 2014

        Marvellous! Let’s take over the world and have one helluva party!

        Like

      • Expat Eye
        March 31, 2014

        That sounds right up my street 🙂

        Like

  4. lizard100
    March 31, 2014

    : )

    Like

  5. Chloris
    March 31, 2014

    I am impressed how much you have got done. I have never heard of any of those potato varieties.
    I used to keep bees but I never did any work in the hive with BARE HANDS! I had to do a double take when I saw that. I used to deck myself out like someone going into Chernobyl, but still I was scared. Bare hands!

    Like

  6. lizard100
    April 2, 2014

    When we both did our course we learned bare handed. It sounds mad but it does make you very careful. I’m quite sad now that I’ve had a localised sting reaction with serious swelling so I have to use gloves from time to time. Our bees are very docile.

    Like

  7. Rambling Woods
    April 3, 2014

    Wow…. I wish I was your neighbor…

    Like

  8. lizard100
    April 3, 2014

    I sometimes think our neighbours think we’re mad. They have sterile paved garden front and back. Still maybe they’ll be inspired one day.

    Like

  9. P.E.A.C.E.
    April 16, 2014

    Expat Eye took the words right out of my mouth… er… hands. Whatever. I do wonder if there’s anything you can’t do! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Love it all!

    Like

    • lizard100
      April 16, 2014

      I’m a busy person! : ) It looks like a lot but I cut a lot if corners!

      Like

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