Friday, 19 April 2013

A Blank Canvas - Start Of The Season

The title of this post is a little misleading in two ways.

Allotment At The Start Of The Season
Firstly, it gives the impression that nothing has been done with my allotment this year, which is far from the truth.  I started digging on the 3rd January and by the end of February I had dug the whole plot, not just the 2/3s that I used last year but also the 1/3 I hadn't used but which was sprayed with weed killer back in September. Angus also delivered a load of manure which I'd spread over the section of the plot which wasn't manured last year, the bottom half.

In the past week or so I have also rotovated the whole plot, to break up lumps, dig in the manure and get the ground ready for planting, I've been rushing to do this as the soil was nice and dry thanks to the recent lack of rain but as this week the forecast was somewhat wetter I wanted to finish before this arrived.

Secondly, although in the photo it appears empty there are some fruits growing. When I started working on the plot in January 2012 I planted 6 gooseberry bushes, they will hopefully produce their first fruits this year. In August I planted a row of strawberry plants, again they should fruit this summer, all but 2 have survived the winter. And in February I planted a row of 6 blackcurrant bushes, these were dry-rooted so I don't think they'll fruit this year, although they look healthy enough, covered in leaf buds.

I'm also doing a bit of an experiment, if you ready my page on the Dores website about last year  about the 2012 season you'll know my broad beans were a bit of a failure, in part because of the shock to the plants of moving from growing at home to out in the wilds of the allotments. So this year I have planted a double row of broad bean seeds directly into the ground in late February. There's no sign of them yet, so I dug up one seed yesterday to see if they'd perished in the cold, but it was sprouting away happily. We'll see how they do.

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