British Flowers, Locally Grown in Hertfordshire
There are routines within flower farming that should always be adhered to and one which Jo and I have no trouble sticking to, is the coffee routine! We wander around with our steaming mugs accompanied by Bertie and Frank (the resident dogs) down to the field, discussing as we go our plan of action. On passing the greenhouse I am amazed how quickly the plug trays full of ranunculus have grown. Preparing the poly tunnel to plant these healthy little plugs out has to be our priority for today.
Weeding was our first step, gently forking over the earth and removing the roots. As any gardener knows, often a little green shoot on top reveals an enormous amount of stubborn growth underneath, making it very labour intensive. A task that is vital is to ensure the little ranunculus has unencumbered space to grow.
Next step is to feed the earth with a healthy dose of compost and fish blood & bone, sounds absolutely delightful, especially when Jo reveals something has been living in the compost heap! We decided to call on our canine companions as defence whilst we tackled this nutrient rich pile and it did the trick, nothing jumped out or scurried off!
With the earth prepared, it was time to check the irrigation, a big bonus to any large scale growing. The t-tape was relayed and tested, unfortunatly one or two had been punctured and needed replacing from the large reel outside. It never ceases to amaze me the excitement one feels from a job well done and the successful testing of our handywork was one of these occasions.
Our final job of the day was to lay a covering of straw over the top of the beds to help keep moisture in. Frank thought this was laid especially for him and he was in his element as you can see from the photo below.