After the Social Mow on Sunday, Phil and I began work on the cut grass with the intention of making hay from it, given the unsettled forecast.
We began about 3pm on Sunday afternoon. It had been overcast most of the morning, but by this time the sun was shining brightly. We flipped over all the mowed windrows with rakes. This exposes the cut ends of the grass and speeds drying of the stalkier part of the grass, which is slower to dry then the leaf.
We then spread an area of grass which was about a third of what had been cut. The intention was to focus the bulk of our efforts on this patch to get it dry enough to rack by Tuesday evening. After drying during the afternoon and early evening this area was rowed up for the night.
Monday was overcast and drizzly. The hay was left in rows so that minimum surface area was exposed to the rain.
The weather was overcast this morning (Tuesday) but has gradually brightened during the day. The forecast is for showers tomorrow afternoon.
By 11am, the hay and the ground between had mostly dried off from the overnight drizzle. We spread all of the rows, both the area that was spread on Sunday and the rows that had not been previously spread.
Here is Phil picking up a bit of hay from a row ready to flip it over and spread it.
And here is the underside, noticeably greener.
After finishing in the field, we got the last of the hay racks out of the barn and carried out repairs as necessary, ready for an evening session of racking. The racks are mostly made of hazel sticks that are harvested from hedgerows as they are being laid.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with soft fruit picking and other necessary tasks. About 8pm we went out to the field again, with the aim of racking the driest hay and rowing up the rest into thick rows to minimise damage from the forecast rain. We finished racking and rowing about 10pm this evening. With luck I will sort out this evenings photos and post more tomorrow.
There may be an opportunity in the morning to spread some of the remaining un-racked hay, dry it some more then build more racks before the rain arrives.