Tuesday, 19 February 2008

My First Ploughed Field

I didn’t get round to writing last night as I felt like I was getting nowhere. I did manage to plough another few furrows but it was hard work. What became obvious was that in certain parts of the field, the winter water table is about 4cm below the surface. Add that to the clay content of the soil and I was either having to raise the plough nearly out of the soil to stop the wheels spinning or having to stop when I saw the plough only skimming the surface despite being down and on full draft in order clean the compressed clay and grass off the plough. It was a rather frustrating day.

This morning it was back to the plum orchards. Ann had taken up an offer from another friend to come and help. With three of us we managed to serpe, collect and stack all the wood in that orchard. There is one more orchard to go which should be done on Thursday but not by me as I will be doing other things that day.

Once back home I refuelled the tractor and set off again. I was more hopeful today because having looked again at the field I was pretty sure I was getting above the water table. My assumption turned out right but it wasn’t all plain sailing as the clay content increased; it is going to take quite a lot of improvement to get it to a really good workable soil. Even so I finished the area that I wanted to plough and the rain that was forecast for today help off too.

The other good outcome, and it was a worry, the water pipe from well to the house is obviously buried a reasonable distance down, or to put it another way, I didn’t manage to cut through it with the plough. Every time I passed the zone where it was likely to be I scrutinised the latest furrow for a fountain of water. What I did see though were many large worms as in the previous post. Sadly too, the plough cut a lot of them so I do hope they regenerate.

I was accompanied in my ploughing attempt by a collection of wagtails. I tried to photograph them but they flitted amongst the furrow about 5 meters from the tractor and are barely discernable on the photographs even when blown up as far as possible.

I thought I’d finish tonight with a pretty picture. My daffodils/narcissi are now blooming and they have a really beautiful scent as well.

1 comment:

Mountain Dweller said...

Thanks for popping by my blog and congratulations on the ploughing - it can't have been easy! What do you intend planting in that field?