Friday, 24 May 2013

Hedge trimming and hens

hens May 13 1

Our allotment is over 100 years old and around it is a well established hawthorn hedge which sometimes needs trimming. Actually, "trimming" is possibly an understatement given the work I carried out on it today. On one side of the allotment I wanted the hedge to be about 2 metres high. That meant chopping off another 2 metres of growth. Hawthorn has an ability to grow rapidly and the hedge was simply getting too tall, blocking light to part of the allotment in the morning.

I noticed both the hens and the ducks were interested in eating the leaves from the branches I chopped from the hedge. I have, therefore, left the branches on one of the big beds where I have just planted potatoes. This prevents the hens from kicking about the soil on the otherwise neat rows and trenches and gives the hens an additional food supply. Over the next two or three weeks we will gradually chop up the trimmings. Sticks will go into the incinerator. Branches will cut into 15cm lengths and stored to use in the outdoor oven we are planning to build.

The hawthorn (alternative name being mayflower) is yet to flower. It is very late this year. Normally by this time the hawthorn hedges would be covered in white blossom by now. We are about to enter the final week of May and there are plenty of buds, but no flowers yet. It is in danger of being renamed juneflower. However, the late end to winter this year means many crops and plants are starting late.

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