The first job of the gardening year

…happened yesterday, when I turned over our compost heap. Which involved lifting the Dalek away, taking the top, virtually unrotted, layer off and putting it in a temporary container (a polystyrene fish crate), then transferring the more decomposed stuff underneath to the hole next to the Dalek. Then covering the hole and its contents with empty compost bags, and weighing them down with rocks. (This last step is vital, to prevent the compost from being used as a litter tray by cats – ours and our neighbours’.) All in all a very messy job, but a satisfying one.

In a month’s time, I’ll be able to use the compost in the hole to plant my first salad leaves, rocket and spring onions. In milder winters I’d consider doing this about now but it’s still mid-February and we’re not out of the woods yet as far as snow and sub-zero temperatures are concerned.

Speaking of sub-zero temperatures, I think these are what was responsible for the leak in our water butt. The water inside froze when we had our cold snap a couple of weeks back. Now whenever it rains, any water that collects in the bottom of the butt has leaked out within a few hours. Is it (a) possible and (b) worthwhile to repair a water butt, I wonder? Or shall I just get the credit card out and buy another one?