Last weekend I used the matured compost from one of my bins, which had been "cooking" for the best part of a year. I distributed much of it over some of my raised beds, to act as a soil-improver. Well the local bird population think this was great. They have been scratching around in it MOST enthusiastically. Apart from the worms that I have already shown you pictures of, I presume the compost is packed full of other little creatures, aka bird-food....
The trouble is, all this scratching around has meant that a lot of the compost has migrated onto the pathways. Here's the evidence:-
The worst culprits are the Blackbirds. From where I sit in our Living Room I can watch them at it. Scratch, Scratch, Peck. Scratch, Scratch, Peck. Scratch, Scratch, Peck... and so on, ad infinitum.
So what am I going to do about it? Well, nothing just yet. I know I could sweep up all the compost from the paths and put it back on the beds, but it would only get kicked out again tomorrow. I think I will wait until the birds have eaten their fill and then clean up in a few days' time. In a way I suppose it is all my own fault anyway. If I had had the energy last weekend, I could have dug the compost into the beds rather than just scattering it on top. But it's easy to be wise in retrospect!
See the bed on the left? This is the bed containing my Sprouting Broccoli. Here's a closer look at some of it.
I reckon these might be ready to start cropping in just a few days. Recipe suggestions are always welcome folks...
Great broccoli Mark _ I think ours suffered in the freezing cold and has hardly done anything yet.ReplyDelete
Look on the bright side maybe there are nasty bugs in the compost that the blackbirds are getting rid of for you! Maybe slug and snails eggs?
They are pretty enough to put in a vase with daffs.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous Broccoli! Love the color! I envy your getting crops already...ReplyDelete
I have been saving my compost to help improve an area that is hard packed clay. I never thought about the birds going for it - but it makes sense. Probably some juicy pickings in it.ReplyDelete
Was doing a smaller scale compost distribution this afternoon. I've given some to my thinning lavender in the hopes that it will appreciate it rather than be overwhelmed by it.ReplyDelete
Lovely broccoli. Lovely pictures of it. Cheese sauce poured on it.
I have almost never had a problem with the birds here. I guess my compost doesn't have that many worms. I also don't feed the birds so there is not that many that hang around my yard, I guess. The broccoli looks wonderful. Afraid I don't have any recipes to share. I use broccoli boiled with butter or in casseroles.ReplyDelete
Your broccoli is absolutely beautiful! The birds sure did make a mess....I think that I would wait to clean up until they are finished messing around too.ReplyDelete
Recipes? - A quick blanch then into a pan with a lot of garlic and olive oil that has been stewing a bit. Toss and serve atop linguine. Simple and lets the produce shine!ReplyDelete
Hi Mark, I always admire the tidiness of your garden. A few bits of compost scattered isn't too bad (until the rain starts and it turns to mud?). What about a scarecrow?ReplyDelete
I had trouble with blackbirds too when I put on compost. After I mulch with pea straw it get worse with blackbirds pulling out seedlings as well. This summer I stop mulching and use natural grown cover~sweet potatoes.ReplyDelete
That's really funny Mark, because it was only a few days ago that I was looking at the spaces in between your garden beds and thinking how lovely and well-swept they were. I was just wondering to myself how much work you have to put in to keep them like that!ReplyDelete
The birds certainly have made a mess. On the very odd occasion I will get home and find the chickens have gotten out... with much the same results.
The broccoli looks fantabulous. Will it go green when you cook it? My purple beans do this.
Yes, the birds have ruined my reputation for tidiness, haven't they? :( Still it's better that they should do this when the beds are mostly empty rather than when they are full of delicate seedlings. I have sown lots of seeds the last couple of days, so in a few weeks time those beds will be populated again - though I plan to sow my parsnips and beetroot soon, in situ, under the cover of those new cloches.ReplyDelete
Ali, I forgot to say - yes, the broccoli loses most of its purple colour when you cook it. It goes a very dark shade of green.ReplyDelete
I love homemade compost! It's so satisfying to finally be able to spread it in your garden after it's been cooking for so long! Love the shots of your broccoli, too. Purple broccoli is new to me; but it is beautiful! I love it best simply steamed till crisp tender, with a squirt of lemon juice and some freshly grated parmigianno regianno cheese on top :)ReplyDelete
Beautiful looking purple sprouting broccoli. Very lightly steamed is hard to beat, but it is also rather wonderful in a light stir-fry with a few sesame seeds and light soy. Enjoy - I shall dream of having a crop for next year.ReplyDelete