Let the digging commence

As I was growing increasingly fed up with a complete lack of progress on the vegetable garden, pruning and tidying apart, I decided to throw caution to the winds and start digging some of the beds.

Normally, I aim to dig muck into a quarter of the beds in November and have another quarter forked over around the same time.

The remaining beds have overwintered vegetables in them.

But the unusually early cold spell in November/December delayed that work, while the rain and continual overcast since January have left the ground too wet to work.

If I keep waiting for the ground to dry, I could find myself with the entire vegetable plot—all 18 beds of it—to turn over just as the sowing season kicks off.

The only thing to do was put my waterproofs on, don my my new pair of unbelievable bright yellow glows, and squelch my way backwards down the first bed with a fork.

I’d like to get at least half a dozen beds turned over with the fork this week.

It won’t be the the quarter that need deep digging nor will it be the quarter that need muck—the soil is too wet and heavy to dig with a spade, while the laden wheelbarrow sinks just about everywhere.

But a squelchy, oozing, heaving, sucking start is better than no start at all.

As for those gloves, I’d just worn a pair of “normal” leather ones out and went to the agricultural merchants to buy a new pair.

While they had numerous pairs of small, large and extra large gloves in all sorts of styles, for all sorts of jobs, the merchants had only one pair of medium gloves to fit me.

Of course, the sole, lonely pair of medium gloves had to be a bright, almost radioactive, yellow.

Yes, they’re waterproof, have good grip and are warm, but I’m not sure the toxic yellow look is me—especially after the two women working today burst into fits of laughter when they saw what I was going to have to wear.


Photo by the Wee ‘Un.

15 Responses to “Let the digging commence”

  1. The gloves only look out of place because your boots are so dull. Get yourself a pair of bright yellow wellies and you’ll be all set. ;-)

  2. They will only be bright yellow for a little while. All that mud and toil will tone them down :-)

  3. At least OH will be able to spot your last waving hand as you sink slowly into the mud!

  4. It could have been worse. These particular gloves, being waterproof, windproof, snug fit and high grip, are very popular with female horse riders. Normally, the two colours stocked in medium are bright yellow and hot pink. Hot pink would have been even more fetching!

  5. At least you will be able to find them easily if you put them down somewhere.

  6. I was going to say at least they aren’t bright pink. Seems you have my problem, my hand’s are so big that women gloves won’t fit me at all.

  7. Nice photography from wee’un, considering the light.

    • I’ve been showing him how to use the DSLR camera. He did a couple without flash and a couple with flash. His main problem is the weight of the camera compared with the old compact camera—he finds it hard to hold steady with his little hands. :D

  8. Dear Stoney,
    These days I’m getting a little “long in the tooth” so for the last few years so I was very interested to read about “no till” gardening. It seems to work well here in the wilds of West Texas. I’m sure you know about it but just wondering what you think about it and whether it would work in Scotland. I enjoy your blog immensely.

    • Our vegetable beds are laid over the top of a former sand arena for horses. We used soil and muck from a variety of sources. When we started, there were sandy patches, gravel patches, straw patches, muck patches and mud patches. For the past six years we’ve gradually filtered out the stone, plastic and metal, while homogenising and enriching the soil by rotational digging. No till digging wouldn’t have achieved this.

      For a more detailed explanation, read this…

      Why we dig the way we do

      Eventually, when we have a balanced and nutritionally rich soil, we should be able to move to a less intensive method of cultivation. Until then, I’ll have to keep going with the hard work. (I happen to enjoy it, too.)

      We do research, consider and think projects through before starting them. We also appraise and amend projects as they progress. We don’t just charge in and do things in a particular way because it’s dogma, tradition or a fad.

  9. Sorry, that was poorly written…I usually do a better job of editing than that but I hope you can make sense of it.

  10. They are one hell of a pair of gloves Stoney but I think you need a bright polka dot pair of wellies to go with them. …….lol.

  11. That is my boy…. the gorgeous yellow gloves set the scene nicely mate! Perhaps a bit of colour in the hair would set them off handsomely.
    Oh, plus of course the yellow gum boots (wellies… what are they…..chuckle).

    • I discovered a major downside to the gloves earlier. The cockerels hate them. We haven’t had an aggressive cockerel for several years now, but as soon they saw the gloves each and every cockerel went for them. I won’t be wearing them again for chicken chores.

  12. OH, I thought we could do something with the ground, too! We had high wind gusts that moved everything! this past weekend including all the moisture out of the ground from the last snows. Now… it’s snowing again!! There were some years we could get potatoes in the ground in end of Feb. early March. Now we are lucky if April is the month! Glad you could muddle in the mud!!

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