The rotovator got its first outing a week ago.
Where big plastic sheets had kept the rain off, all went fairly well
with the soil dryish and all the weeds killed by smothering. But where
manure had been spread the rotovator struggled. The truth is I had
been too previous and the soil was too wet for effective cultivation
where soggy lumps of dung were present - I had expected it to be
difficult, but it was in fact impossible.
The manure was very lumpy and also had blocks of silage mixed it. The
best that could be said is that the manure was very well chopped up and
mixed into the top 10cm of the soil. The rotovator would not go
deeper. This leaves me in a dilemma. Do I make the best of a poor
job; or should I finish the job off with hand tools or come back in
April when the manure has rotted more and risk losing valuable growing
time and soil moisture? Go back in April I expect. At least the base
dressing of poultry pellets were spread at a 200g every square metre
(half this where manure has been applied or where carrots and peas are
to be grown) and 20g of sulphate of potash per square metre. Almost
complete lack of wind made spreading very easy.
A third of the plot is still covered with
winter crops; cabbages, Brussels, leeks, Swedes and other roots. I
will have to rotovate this in April ready for late crops sown and
planted in May and June