Allotment Diary–Sunday 11 September 2016

This week has been a big push to get all of my phase 2 changes finished before mid September, as I will be travelling for the rest of the month.

That has meant finishing and planting all of the cold frames and hot beds – done

Cutting down most of the apple tree, to allow me to plant up the strawberry beds – done

Planting up the strawberry beds, with the cuttings from the garden at home – done

Digging up a few currant bushes and relocating gooseberry bushes, to clear the fence at the right slide of my plot, ready for the raspberry bed.  There will also be a sweet corn and sprout bed along the fence, in the spring. – done.

In a little more detail:

I’ve planted up two large strawberry beds, using soil that was already on the site, mixed with my own compost and well enhanced with my mix of volcanic rock dust, sea weed and chicken manure.  I’ve covered the bed with weed stop fabric and melted holes in it using the blow torch and then planted the runners through those holes.  It looks very neat.  I’ve planted 18 summer fruiting plants and 18 perpetuals, we are eating these same perpetuals at home at the moment and they are excellent!

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Next I dug up three currant bushes, moved two gooseberry bushes and dug over the ground to remove weeds and other debris.  I then dug in a lot of compost and my mix of volcanic rock dust, sea weed and chicken manure.  I dug in two posts that will form the attachments for the support wires, which I will put in next year.  Finally I covered the whole area with fabric. 

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The whole allotment is infested by mares tail and bind weed and the only way I’ve coped with it is fabric.  It’s not a perfect solution as it still works it’s way through the fabric, but when I lift the fabric and see the mass is roots on the surface it’s clear that it’s stopping a lot of it getting through.

I also cleared the pallets of tomatoes and carrots, the carrots have been a disaster, all getting root fly and the tomatoes have all been heavily battered by the gales.  I saved some green toms to ripen on the window sill, but the carrots are not worth saving, fortunately we have a great crop of carrots under mesh.  I’ve learnt my lesson for next year!  Grow in the ground, plant thinly, don’t thin out, protect with mesh.

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Finally I loaded the car up with all the old plants and accumulated rubbish and made what I’m hoping will be my last trip to the tip.  I’m hoping to be able to use our home green and black bins for all the rubbish from now on.

Back home I gave the car a good clear out, removing all of the soil and spiders and refitting the baby seat.  After weeks of looking like a farm truck it feels quite civilised again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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