Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hedge planting

When the sun shines on a farm, even one that's only 22 acres like ours, there's a great deal of work to be done. Our work is currently the refurbishment of the hedge bank which borders the lower part of the green lane.

We have 250 hawthorn, blackthorn and hazels to plant, guided by advice from the Tir Gofal agri-environmental scheme that has brought us various environmentally friendly things including proper fencing and some lovely wooden gates.

They look like little twigs at the moment.
 The plants, which just look like little twigs, were bought from Ty Rhos Trees, near Newport and arrived in spiky bundles which had to be heeled into a border in the veggie garden while we waited for some good planting weather.

That finally arrived this week and we set to with the plants in a bucket of water and an old saucepan full of bonemeal. Mum is on plant and bonemeal duty and I've got a metal spike with a flat blade on the bottom which I use to make the holes.
A hedge will grow up on the top of this bank. That stone was too big to move.
 Making holes in our soil requires a metal spike to bash the stones out of the way. I have to bash a bit and wiggle a bit until the hole is big enough. Sometimes a hole takes just two or three bashes with the spike, mostly it is much more than that. After ten holes my shoulders and arms are screaming complaints but I can't stop after ten. 

This is the drop. A nice soft landing in the stream.
We've been planting twice a day, two lots of 25 which take about an hour to plant. Mum started on her own but we're faster as a team of two. What isn't terribly clear from the pictures is that all of this is performed precariously balancing on top of the bank which is about eight feet high in places. We're trying our best not to fall off!

By the end of today we had planted 125 - only the other half to go. On sunny days like those we have had this week it is a fun task. Hopefully it won't rain until we're done.


  1. So much more fun than a gym would be!

  2. I do hope you've had a wonderfully long hot bath to ease those aching shoulders!

  3. I love your description of the order of operation amongst the ranks of the planters. However, please do take care...stay on the firm side of that edge. xo

  4. I thought I was doing well painting our gate - it pales in comparison! Stunning weather for you, hope it continues. Wonderful photographs.


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