Sunday, January 24, 2010

The allotment: hard graft

I got my allotment in Jan 2009. Only a small part of it was dug over and planted last year. I made two raised beds by digging soil from the path and throwing it onto the bed. One had beans (not very successful), courgettes, salad, squash and perpetual spinach. The other had potatoes, salad and radishes. I attempted carrots but the badgers got them. We poured my husband's pee on the carrots but it didn't put them off. We were told it would. I mulched the beds with grass clippings, covered as much of the plot as I could with found carpet and cut down grass when it became too long. This made it manageable with the limited time I had.

The site is very steep and my plot is sloping. I'm trying to dig it without having to terrace it. The ground is perfect to dig just now. I have been digging an area I had covered with carpet for about 6 months. I use a fork, dig a chunk up, turn it over and whack it until it crumbles a bit. Then search through and remove bind weed and couch grass roots. (The bind weed is the curly white root in the photo). I dug over an area next to where some strawberries are planted. I planted the runners, which I got from a client, in September. A couple had died so I replaced those with spares I had put in the other bed. I then put a mulch of straw around the strawberries. I got the bale of straw last January and used it as a seat so it's started to rot down. Now I need to order some manure.

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