Soup Carton Cloches

A very handy way to recycle the plastic containers is to use them as temporary cloches. When the cauliflower have 3 or 4 real leaves they are ready to be planted out.  However   they could still benefit from some protection and these containers are ideal. All that you need to do is to fit a hold in the base to allow air to circulate. They are also good protection against chicken attacks.  Normally the chickens are helpful in the vegetable garden as they eat the wire worms, leather jackets and other nasty visitors. But sometimes,  just out of badness, they will go for the seedlings and this is a handy defence.

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Harrowing Times

Harrowing Times

I am always keen to recycle as much as I can, especially when this also saves me money or sorts a problem. I need to do some work on the pasture this year, to clear the thatch that has built up, and as a consequence need to use something like a tine harrow on the fields. I had mulled over many possible plans but always come back to the problem of the tines. Nothing seemed an easy and cheap solution to this problem until I was clearing up after we re-roofed the barn. As I was taking down the old guttering I discovered my tines !

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The old supporting brackets were clearly almost ideal tines and there were serendipitously enough for my project. They would only need to be removed from the wall and a minor modification.

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The tines needed a small hole (4mm) drilled in the metal head to allow me to screw these into the frame in a way that they would resist the tendency to rotate.

dsc_1827The times were then mounted onto two bars. They were sited 16cm apart and offset between the two bars. These were then set in a frame with a long-enough handle to allow me space to walk along with the two-wheeled tractor without my feet getting fouled up.

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I discovered that I needed side struts to brace the two bars against the tendency to rotate round. I have kept the heads of the brackets in place as they add to the weight of the harrow and give me, if needed, somewhere to add extra weight (I can run metal bars along these hooks).  As a temporary measure I have pressed an old copper pipe into use as the mechanism to attach to the tractor. This gives adequate flexibility to allow the harrow and tractor to move freely but I have my reservations about whether this will be strong enough in the long term.

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Over the next week we can see if this will sort my problem or whether I need to go to my second plan (which involves an old gate and a lot of welding !