About Me

Hi I'm JAMES 60 and married with three daughters all left home now, daughters that is not the wife.I enjoy Gardening /Football and working on my Farm.The picture above in the header slot is where i live and work.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

January Snowdrops

I know I'm a born optimist but the days seem to be creeping out a bit and what with the snowdrops getting into full bloom it does seem that it,s heading in the right direction for spring even the potentials have started to show signs of life which is a good 3/4 weeks earlier than i would expect it's just to be hoped that we don't get any server frosts that will wreck every thing, one thing that wont take any harm is the Rhubarb which is starting to romp away The Rhubarb varieties are Timperly Early and Stocksbridge Arrow i was considering if i should divide them this year but on looking i think i can safely leave it until next year. I have finished moving the hydrangeas in to their new bed this afternoon, where they were was a bit to shaded under some trees so hopefully with a bit of extra sunshine they will reach their full potential, as they are now on full show next to the main road i certainly hope so or i will get some comments from passing friends. I managed to get my hands on some plastic barrels on Monday for growing my long carrots in, these are getting harder to find nowadays as most large companies have to send them for disposable to registered recyclers but i got lucky and was given 5 that missed the collection, cutting the tops and base out was a bit of a fiddle, but if you want to compete with these showmen then it just has to be done. Hopefully i will get the sand in shortly so as to give it time to settle prior to coring out for planting. Most of my seed has been ordered now although i do buy my Leeks and Onions and other bits and bobs from Robinsons Mammoth Onions in April as i only have a unheated greenhouse and would find it near impossible to start them of early. Down on the farm i spent quite a bit of time re-tagging cattle this is a job that needs to be kept up to date as the penalties if you don't are quite severe the tags only seem to last 2/3 years before they need replacing. We have also started to feed the sheep more generously as the winter goes on and they get nearer to lambing in the spring.
Football Result Cheltenham 1 United 0 Slipped to 3rd in league

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Weed control

Had a guy come to collect some used silage sheeting which is something i often seem to be giving away once i have finished with it seems very popular for covering empty ground on allotments to act as weed suppressant until spring i personally have never bothered doing it and just spend an hour now and then pulling out what weed pops up, and it seems this year as if the buttercups are having a good winter, I have thought it might be useful put on about mid March being black it would absorb the sun's heat and perhaps bring planting time on a bit sooner (any one got an opinion they would like to share). Spent Saturday removing some awkward boughs from a couple off trees sawed them up with the hand saw and stored them away to dry for firewood in 12 months time, it was good to get stuck in to some practical work after having to deal with a bunch of civil servants on Friday, are they programed to be awkward and unhelpful? or does it come naturally to them either way they have a knack of making a simple enquiry seem like rocket science as they never seem willing or capable of giving a straight answer and oh they are so busy and can we get back to you probably in about a month as i am finishing early and need to get away. These are the same bunch that tell you how to do everything but don't have a clue how to do it themselves, i only rang because it was lashing it down with rain and it seemed a good idea quite honestly I wish I hadn't bothered it would have been more productive plodding on in the rain.

Football Result United 1 Crewe Alexander 0 Now Second in League. Bonus Result Leeds lost 0 1 to Doncaster

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Football Results FA Youth Cup 4th round.

Manchester United Youth 1 United Youth 2

Sunday, 13 January 2008

The Moles are back.

The weather must be warming up the ground these last few days as i have noticed a lot of mole activity occurring this last week, not causing a lot of trouble as they are mainly in the vegetable plot which is just about empty at the moment with just an odd row of Parsnips and about the same amount of Leeks. I did check and service my traps ( I use the barrel type shown in picture) so as to be ready to catch them but as the soil is so wet i will wait until the weather is drier as they seem a lot harder to catch when the ground is wet probably because the sent left is stronger from setting them in wet soil making them more likely to fill them with soil and push them out of the ground. The best time seems to be mid march when the ground is drying and before they start breeding , but if they spread into the lawn I will have a go sooner.
On the work front we sold the last of the 2006 calf crop as store cattle on Thursday most have gone to Yorkshire for finishing roundabout Easter time, once they were out of the way we were able to wean the calves born April/May 2007 they made a hell of a noise for a couple of days but seem quite settled now it's quite a change for them I suppose been taken away from their mothers and a change of diet as well.
Football Result. Doncaster 1 United 0 can't win em all. Now third in league

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Steady work for early January

January I have to admit is not my favourite month, the grounds usually to wet to work and so it seems jobs start piling up, having said that this weekend has been reasonably dry with just the odd shower, so I did get the chance to rake up the final drop of leaves of the front lawn it is a bit shaded at the best of times having three Oak trees one Sycamore and a Beech tree growing in it so we do have a lot of leaves to deal with and it certainly benefits from a good raking which i do quite roughly so as to drag out some of the dead thatch and moss. Oak and Sycamore leaves seem to rake up quite easily but the Beech is a different cup of tea altogether, small leaves and a mass off beech nuts that if you dont remove seem to poison the grass .
I had a look at the dahlias that i put in store and was a bit disappointed with the way that some had stored about 1 in 4/5 had started to rot, i was a bit worried when i put them away in November that the condition of them was not ideal with such a wet backend and no frost to kill the tops some seemed a bit soft and immature and even though i did dry them in the greenhouse for a week before packing them away, as a precaution I packed each one individually so as not to encourage fungus spread so the results may have been worse had i not . Any way the sound ones got another dusting of anti fungal and a 24 hour airing before repacking so hopefully things will be better from now on . I got a chance to prepare a base for sighting some barrels to grow long carrots this year, this will be my first attempt at growing them this way and we will just have to see how we go on (look back in august September to see how it went), any carrots i have grown before have just been in the veg plot and i have never had a great lot of luck with them probably because my ground is a bit stony and heavy. On the work front well we treated all breeding sheep which had the first snow off winter to deal with (see picture) for Fluke parasites which took a couple of days, and then did a bit of sale preparation on the last 6 store cattle that we will be selling on Thursday 13th I am reasonably confident of a decent trade but they won't be a flyer as they are the last to go of the 2006 calf crop.

Football result United 3 Port Vale 2 Now 2'nd in League

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

A Brand New Year

It"s wet and windy but quite mild
Well that's it the end of 2007 roll on 2008. 2007 been an up and down year a great spring sunny and warm then very wet all summer, didn,t need to water the garden once but had to work overtime to keep the lawn,s tidy. Work was steady but for the Goverment hassling me with red tape (now't new with that then) and then setting loose Foot and Mouth Disease from their Pirbright laboratory and then they had the nerve to say they coped well with it all (useless tossers ) cost the livestock industry millions and do they care no couldn't give a monkeys, anyway tomorrow i am going to dig out a old established hydrangea up at friends house and transplant it back here can't beat getting cheap plants hopefully it should move easily enough but we will see come spring if it has survived the move.

United 4 Hartlepool 2 Now 3rd in league 1.