We went to the lotty today to put up some netting to protect the all-purpose bed from the birds.
When we went a couple of days ago all the carrots and some of the beans I had planted were pulled up and the solar butterfly (I was using as a bird scarer!) was in three pieces. The plastic had been snapped. A couple of the green pegs had been pulled out of the strawberry bed. Initially we thought it was vandals but then, on consideration, it seemed very unlikely as they didn't do a very impressive job. All my pea sticks were still in place and the water butt still standing. I am pretty convinced it was pigeons or squirrels - both are extremely destructive. if you want to see what remains of my forty-odd carrots have a look in the Garden - The Lotty 2013 album
So I bought 4 metres of 4 metre wide bird netting (£1 a metre) from Stephen H. Smiths garden centre yesterday and picked up the cane connecting balls from Summerseat today (cheese pie day!). We nipped over to the lotty after lunch and slung up a 'cage'. I'll just have to see how this goes. It might come in handy again later in the summer if the birds attack the strawberries.
We are also expecting a ground frost tonight so this might add a little protection?
It isn't a super beautiful construction as it was freezing cold and within a few minutes of arriving it was belting with sleet and rain. We sheltered for a while in the shed but then just came out and got on with it, so it is a bit of a rush job. If it works and keeps the birds off i can mess about improving it another time.
This is the lovely cheap compost bin from Primrose that Ken put together for me and lugged round a couple of days ago. I was a bit worried that the wood was wet and a bit green inside its packaging - fingers crossed it lasts a while. As I said if it does OK I will get another one further down the line. I am trying not to spend too much too soon as I need to see if (a) my enthusiasm lasts and (b) if stuff gets wrecked..... not pessimism on my part just trying to be realistic. So far I just love it and I can't wait to see all my stuff coming up. There are signs of the lettuce and the radishes already so this cold weather isn't holding them back. Actually today I noticed the soil in the beds was very warm but that might have been because my hands were freezing!
This final picture is just a shot of my little area - all beds planted and the butt and bin in place. The runner beans and other fruit and vegetables will be arriving through the summer as the weather warms up but that is pretty much it for now until about mid May.
My next task when there is nice weather is to start working on clearing up round the beds and making it tidy. I will probably have wood chip paths. Whatever I do won't be cheap. The membrane to go under the wood chips costs an arm and a leg.