9 April 2017
You may remember WAY back at the end of summer last year we got an allotment. I wrote an excitable blog post here. I have been desperate to do an update, but really there hasn't been that much to update.
The allotment isn't always very picturesque and we have simply been digging over beds all winter, nothing exciting.
But now is the exciting time of year, we have begun to plant and we are seeing signs of growth too, so I thought I would do an update post now I have something to show...
We mostly dig at the allotment, I cannot tell you how many times I have tuned over and weeded the same beds again and again.
Once we had the beds all marked out and some paths laid etc we just started to dig. Our soil is lovely once you get rid of all the weeds... We have 4 beds, but only 3 we are currently working. This is our very first allotment, first real attempt at growing veggies so we are largely making it up as we go along.
With the 3 large beds, one we completely covered in a mesh type sheet for the winter to hopefully suppress the weeds. One we just tuned over and weeded repeatedly and the other Mark decided to attempt green manure. The green manure didn't really work, the bed we left uncovered needs constant weeding and today I lifted the covers off the the final bed and let is wake up from its winter slumber.
The soil underneath the sheeting was really nice, there were a few stubborn weeds but not too many at all. I spent the afternoon turning over the bed, getting the few weeds out and letting the soil breath a little.
Now I'm not sure if this covering will have killed off the weeds or now we have let the daylight at them will they all just suddenly sprout to waist height again over night...? Eek, we shall see I guess.
So let's do a little tour of the allotment so far.... We actually have some stuff growing! We have had this garlic in for quite some time now and as you can see it is doing rather well. I'm so tempted to dig one up and see what it looks like... I'm so impatient, I think I have mentioned this before.... hehe.
Our plot already had an established strawberry patch when we took it over. We found it in the corner underneath a load of weeds. We moved the strawberries to the fourth bed, alongside the fence of our plot and just sort of left them to see if they would do anything. Happily they appear to be growing in their new spot. I'm so excited to have our own strawberries.
Also in this bed we have raspberries. The bushes were very very large and out of control when we took on our plot. We have cut down the bushes and we are just waiting until summer to see what will happen with these too.
Another discovery when we too on the plot was a little patch of rhubarb. We simply dumped this into the 'fruit' bed and it has done amazingly well. Wow rhubarb must be super easy, we have done nothing too it and it just doubles in size every time we visit. So if you are looking to start out with some veggies, rhubarb seems like a good place to start. I reckon we can pick some of this soon too!
Mark acquired some old tyres and thought they would make interesting planters. In one of the tyres we have some onions, it's exciting to see the little shoots.
Another little section of the allotment is a tree nursery. Mark is growing some sweet chestnut trees here. We may transplant these out to the woods when they get bigger.
We have one bed fully plated already, with marked out areas of string. There are a few different types of onions and potatoes in here, and a few weeds, ugh!
I enjoyed turning over my bed today. A day digging really clears your head, and its a good workout! I made the soil all super lovely ready to plant some more stuff...
Once I had finished digging Mark raked the bed to make the soil less lumpy and will just look a little nicer.
Then we broke out the carrots! These are some cool carrot seeds that Mark found. They come on a tape, so they are really easy to sow. and already spaced correctly etc.
The paper is very thin and obviously just biodegradable.
You just lay out the tape and then push the soil back over them. I cannot wait for carrots, fingers crossed!
Another exciting development today is our pea frame! This is made from Hazel sticks from the woods. Mark did a good job here, fingers crossed for tons of peas to wind themselves all up the frame.
In go the peas! Mark read somewhere you can simply just plant dry supermarket peas, so we are giving it a go. This is out allotment, we are having fun trying and experimenting, we just want to try things on our first year, see what works. We don't have a massive plan or anything, bung it in, see what happens is pretty much the motto we are working to.
Mark watering the peas.... grow grow little peas....
This messy area is a work in progress. We will be putting up the poly tunnel here and on the paved area eventually a shed. You may remember that our little plot had a shed, but we knocked it down as it was very old and very messy looking. We want a lovely new shed to store our tools all organised.
The paths here will eventually be edged, we have some plastic corrugated edging to go in and then we will get some wood chippings to go over the weed membrane to make neat and tidy paths.
So that's the latest on the allotment. I will no doubt post some more updates once we start seeing more shoots and get the place looking a little prettier with our paths and shed in. I can't wait...