Monday, 4 March 2013

halfway to a summer's day

As promised, here is an update on the hotbed.

The ambient temperature in the garden first thing this morning was 2 degrees, but snuggled up in the hotbed it was.....

It hasn't heated up as quickly as I expected - about a degree or so a day.  There's certainly been no danger of the perils described by William Cobbett in his book, The English Gardener (1829):
...the heat of dung, though it will probably not come to a blaze... will burn as completely as fire; and, if the earth be put on too soon, it will burn the earth into a sort of cinder, in which nothing will ever grow...
I've been taking its temperature like an over anxious parent and worrying - was it something I did?

Maybe it's because I included some beech leaves in the mix?
Maybe it dried out too much while I was making it?*
Maybe I firmed it down too much in the middle and excluded oxygen?

 *(there was a cold wind blowing the whole time - I've since watered it to rev things up a bit)

But it's definitely doing something and a pointed stick pushed into the middle of the bed comes out warm to the touch.  Eleven degrees is halfway to a summer's day and definitely good enough to sow seed - I think I'll give it another week to see how far it gets. I'll still be about a month ahead of the game compared to sowing directly into the soil.

Hope spring is starting to spring in your garden...

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