Allotment Diary–Wednesday 17 August 2016
Today was all about tidying up. I started with the sprouts which were strongly pushing up against the tops of their netted cage. The was nothing for it but to take out the tops and while I was about it trim off the bottom half of the leaves, that were serving no useful purpose for the plant, except taking up energy and cage space. Trimming is a quick job and I was very pleased with the result, much better airflow, more light and hopefully much more energy directed by the remaining leaves into growing out the sprouts. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that sprout tops are very popular as I wandered around the site making new friends and giving away my surplus.
Next up, to get the same treatment were the broccoli, the top spear is starting to form now on a few of the plants and Dave came to give me some hints. under his direction I cut the top spear and again cleared out about 1/3 of the bottom leaves, making the whole bed much cleaner and lighter, but also reducing the chance of disease. Once this was done Dave pointed out the hundreds of small spears just waiting to develop. Tomorrow I need to give both beds a good water and feed.
Finally I topped up my hot compost bin with layers of thinning’s and manure, but the bed was running to hot at 72 degrees C, so I compressed it down a bit harder to drive out the air and after an hour or so it had cooled to a more manageable 60 degrees.