Keeping your tools in good condition
- To sharpen the blades of your tools, you’ll need to purchase a sharpening stone. On each blade you’ll find one side is angled and the other is flat. You sharpen the angled side. Work with your stone on a 45 degree angle and in a circular motion until sharp to the touch.
- Rob applies Boiled Linseed Oil to the handles of his tools to keep the wood in good condition. Boiled Linseed Oil works itself into the wood whereas Raw Linseed stays sticky (not nice for a handle!). Apply with a cloth.
- Note: Boiled Linseed Oil has an exothermic reaction which means if you store the rag with the oil still on it, the rag could self-combust. It’s important, therefore, to wash out your rag after using with Boiled Linseed Oil.
Hilling up leeks
- This is the first time we’ve hilled this leek crop up. We planted them in a trough and had a mound in between the rows. Now we can use our spruced-up grubber to knock that mound down, distributing the soil to the leek rows on each side and effectively, hilling them up. Hilling leeks up results in nice, long white stems.
- Add extra soil if you don’t have enough. We will most likely need some more soil or compost the next time we hill them up in about 3-4 weeks’ time.
Thinning root crops
- We planted radishes, swedes and turnips in this bed and now they need thinning. Keep the strongest seedlings and gently pull out ones that are growing too close. It’s important to do this job when seedlings reach about 8-10cms, as when they grow bigger you’re more likely to cause root disturbance.
Making yeast traps for slugs and snails
- Our cabbages and cauliflowers have been nibbled on by slugs and snails, so we set yeast traps for them. Stir 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons of dried yeast granules and 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons white sugar into a cup of warm water well and leave for 10 minutes to dissolve and activate. Press shallow dishes into the soil so the top is at ground level. Pour the yeast mix in and leave. At night slugs and snails will be attracted to the smell and come to a watery end. Check your traps every day, dispose of the catch and replenish with new mixture as necessary.