It felt like we really broke the back of the work list this weekend. We’d hired a car so we could get some of the big items off the list. So on Saturday morning before 9am we were up and collecting rubbish from the plot to take to the dump.
Dump run done, we went to Homebase and bought compost, 530 litres of compost to be precise and I had the ‘joy’ of wheelbarrowing it to our plot. At this point, I’m just so grateful that the allotment society doesn’t mind if we borrow their wheelbarrows provided we put them back!
I’d done some quick calculations about how much compost we were going to need and thought that we’d probably need in the region of 1000 litres just for the raised beds so I knew that we wouldn’t fill all the beds, we got four of them carboarded and composted with 120 litres of compost in each one, and then recovered them with weed fabric. The only downside to having raised beds on this site is that the foxes treat any covered with cardboard and compost as a playground. If the beds have plants in, the foxes stay away but if I’m sowing, then the beds have to be covered with nets, mulching then weed fabric has to go on, I have learned my lesson….Once the heavy work was done, we got on with the fun stuff. I took the wobbly sides off the brassica bed and Ma made ‘circles’ at the top of the plot for flowers.Because we are going to plant squash at the top here, I thought it would be a good idea to have a separate area for flowers that hopefully won’t get over run by rampant squash! We took up the kale and I put more stable sides on that bed. Here you can see the new square bed, that has been filled with compost, the bed of chard and kale that overwintered (with it’s pigeon protection netting and the new straight sides of the bed. Which will need more compost in preparation for the courgette and patty pan plants that will go in around May time and Ma chopping up old raspberry canes into the compost bin!I planted up my blueberry
sticks plants into buckets with ericaceous compost. I was worried that the buckets would be too small but my plot neighbour has bigger blueberry bushes in smaller pots so I’m feeling ok about them right now!I also got on with digging up the raspberries and sorting out the frames, we are going at some point soon, take up all the metal and replace with tidier, less hazardous posts but meanwhile, I stripped out the stuff that wasn’t helping matters and dug up the canes that I’ve been saying need to come up for the last year!The netting came off the broad beans (taking some of the tops with it and I put poles that will eventually be supports for them!)Because I didn’t want to be the only one with sticks in buckets, some of those canes went in a bucket for my sister-in-law and we’ll take them up in March!
The list is looking like we’ve done some work. Like everyone else on the site, I really want to have a bonfire but really need a couple of weeks without rain, after last year’s dry spring, it looks like this year we might get double the rain this year. Next week, I’ll cut the grass, maybe paint the shed and start thinking about sowing some seeds (leeks and peas!) and sorting out the March work list. It never ends but it’s a good feeling, we’re so close to spring.
plant the rhubarb crown dig up raspberries at the top of the plot dig up gooseberry at the end of the plot sort out the raspberry frames
- paint the shed
- cut the grass at the edges of the path
order new raised beds build new raised beds fill the new raised beds with compost and top up the others sort out the sides of the current brassica bed create sections at top and sides of allotment for flowers clear that bed of broccoli and kale
- prep the buckets and boxes for carrots, radishes and mint
- put up and secure the cloche
trip to the dump
- sort out sowing supplies and start sowing leeks etc
plant out blueberry bushes