Monday, 2 March 2009

A Bit More Ploughing

Back before Christmas I ploughed most of the 5 hectare field but as it was my first attempt at ploughing I did have a bit of a problem in places. I just couldn't get the plough shears to dig into the ground, resulting in them just scraping the top of the soil. This occurred over quite a large area and then as quickly as it started, it stopped and the rest of the field ploughed correctly.

The result of this surface scraping is that the grass just grew back over winter. So I've been out re-ploughing the badly ploughed area which has been interesting. I've just about got the hang of starting on one side of the field and working across but I don't have the time to re-plough the whole field so I just ploughed the grassed areas.

This is the view of some of the grass. I'd ploughed the left-hand section first as it was the worst area and rain was forecast. As it was, the rain didn't happen and I have been able to go over the whole area

All I have left to do now is finish the strip round the edge of the field and that's probably about another 4 trips round. I still haven't worked out how to do the corners properly yet but I think I've an idea from a bit of trial and error. I think it involves ploughing the outer line in one direction and the inner rows in the opposite direction.

There is a very great difference between ploughing here and the UK. Whenever I watched people ploughing in the UK there was always a large flock of seagulls following the plough. Here I don't get seagulls but I usually have half a dozen or so wagtails darting about. They're black and white but not the same as the pied wagtails in the UK. Apologies for the not very good photograph but they are rather small and flew away whenever the tractor approached.


Mickle in NZ said...

Looks to be a huge field. This must give you a huge sense of achievement, visible results. What will you be planting?

Huggles to you and the puss-cats

dND said...

Hi Mickle, Yes it is rather big, 5 hectares/12.4 acres. I'm planning on planting sunflowers this year.


aims said...

Oh! I adore sunflowers! They are such happy flowers - sweet faces!

Mickle in NZ said...

There is a house up the road from me with a single ENORMOUS sunflower in bloom.

I never knew their wonder until Northern Hemisphere summer in 1987. Woz on a coach tour around Europe that went right across Spain (San Sebastian, Madrid, Bacelona). I saw them at early floweirn, full flowering and then ripe for harvest. okay, by then was sick of the sight of them, but was a huge eye-opener. Along with the rows and rows and rows of oranges in seemingly arid land as we travelled from Madrid to Barcelona.

Oh Deborah - word veri is "dispeout"

care and huggles, Michelle xxx

Anonymous said...

Now I've got the feeling of how vast your land is! And how brave of you to deal with this enormous field!
As I know nothing about farming, it is very interesting to read your courageous struggles. Bon Courage! Y

dND said...

Hi there Y, and thank you for you kind words. I too know very little about farming, I'm sort of making it up as I go along - thankfully there is lots on the Internet and other blogs to guide me in the right direction :-)

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hello Deborah,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on our blog the other day.
We were both impressed with you adventures with the plough. Re the birds: we saw a programme on UK TV the other day called "A Farm for the Future" which showed two different bits of film of a farmer ploughing a field, one with and one without seagulls. The inference was the the soil was devoid of any wriggly life worth eating, a result of too much ploughing and too many chemicals. It would be interesting for you to do a soil test and see how much organic matter there is in it and how many worms and other critters. Please tell us if you do as we'd be interested to know.
Best of luck with the sunflowers. What will you do with the crop?

Barbara Martin said...

Farming in the spring, oh joy, and you've managed to get it done. Perfect. I miss farming.

Paul and Melanie said...

Thanks for the comment on our blog...

We did the rotovating at the weekend and I think I must have done the same as you, it either wanted to skip away over the top or I had to fight to keep it back so it did the job... It worked ok, but just took a hell of a lot of strength to do the job properly... Not quite the easy option I was expecting... ;)

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