Today was a delightful day at the allotment. The sun was shining, we had great company and there were plenty of people at the allotments. Allotments are such a beneficial environment, everyone has their own space to create, relax and work; yet we’re just a fence away from other people who we can share seeds, fruits and ideas with.
Our company was in the form of Amy (the actual plot holder) and her dad, Stephen. We had the chance to show Stephen how his raspberries, that he gave us, are doing and even to taste one. It will take another year before we can start getting a proper harvest from them I think. We also got to show off the plants that survived our first full year on the allotment; and it’s not a bad list. Keeping a scorecard is really helpful when you’re thinking of next years planting I have found.
We rebuilt the pond, adding a bottom couple of sheets of old shed felt to protect the plastics, it’s now deeper and better than before. I’m not even sure the leak was a leak, when I took out the plastic I could see no holes; quite possibly the plastic just settled more and therefore increased the ponds volume. Giving the illusion of less water.
Our first spring cabbages are now in the ground. This year we purchased a strip of cabbages instead of modules, the strip cost £2.50 for 10 plants, as it turns out I’m not sure that was a great idea. The plants were hard to separate and I really damaged their root systems in doing so, so I’m not optimistic about them.
We picked up some more manure from our local riding stable (Top of Bear Road). This time it was much more rotted down as they’ve been muck spreading and have now pushed aside the fresh manure from the 20 foot high mountain of poo, revealing the good stuff. Apart from stockpiling it for next year we used some today to try out a mixture of No-Dig Potatoes and a trick I read about, used by the Irish in the past.
What I did was I dug a shallow trench and filled it with semi-rotted manure; then I put the soil back on top and planted the potatoes carefully into the top layer of soil. In theory, the rotting manure will keep the potatoes warm and feed the roots while the tubers grow out more sideways and into the rotted manure not the ground underneath. This is very experimental and I’ll keep you posted about whether this works or not.
Our tomatoes continue to do well, sometimes we cut off excess branches with green tomatoes on to focus the plants on the main crop. We’ve been able to ripen those ones back at home very successfully. In fact my Dad used to ripen his left over tomatoes indoors right the way through to November. So that’s one way to extend the season of your tomatoes.