First of all let me apologise for my lack of posts recently. The weather had a major part to play in my lack of writing as I was unable to get out either into the garden or on my plot to do any real gardening. I recently had two weeks off work over the Easter period and I had visions of planting lots of my vegetables that have been destined for the ground. The first week was a complete washout as my plot was covered with 8 to 10 inches of unseasonable snow. Somehow I don’t think any of the plants that I wanted to get in the ground would have thanked me for that.
During the second week when the snow had melted and the temperatures had crept up just enough so I could feel my fingers, I was given a new plot! I was so excited to finally have more land in which to grow my ever increasing selection of fruit and vegetables. There are, however, good points and bad points to the new plot.
On a positive note it came with some very sturdy already built raised beds, a few established fruit bushes and a giant 1000 litre water-butt. Some of the soil on 2 of the existing beds was covered with a membrane making it relatively weed free and quite easy to dig over, and a 3rd bed had a good strong selection of raspberry canes that needed taming. On the downside it also came with a 6 foot high mound that consisted of soil, weeds, carpet and other items destined for the skip. The mound took up an area of at least 18-20′ x 25′. Details about the mound will take up a post of its’ own so watch this space!
Our first project, and I say our because I share this plot with my allotment neighbour Andy, was to dig over some of the raised beds. All they needed was a good turning over with a spade and removing minimal weeds. We will go over these beds again in the coming weeks so that we can add some organic matter such as leaf mould and some compost. We are lucky enough to have access to a rotavator that should make the job of combining all of this material so much easier.
The next project was to remove all of the couch grass and weeds from the fruit beds and then to decide where we would like to position the 8′ by 6′ foot greenhouse. I bought this second hand a few weeks ago and gave the frame and the remaining glass a thorough clean with Jeyes fluid at home before it was assembled at the plot. Unfortunately, some of the panes of glass were broken when it was dismantled and then assembled again, but we managed to get some replacement panes for free from a friend who needs to get rid of their greenhouse in their garden due to young children. Another bonus! We will collect and assemble these in the next few days so that will be another project finished!
We also plan on building a brassica cage with our pile of free timber, but until the mound is dealt with, we are not sure of what size it will be or where it will be sited. This cage will be brilliant for protecting our crops from birds and caterpillars that love to devour our crops.
Hopefully, with the increase in temperatures and the longer daylight hours, I should be able to make a good start on these news beds and get them planted up sooner rather than later.
I’ll post a new plot update as soon as new things develop.
Now that’s what I call a plan! Sounds easy when you write it down but I can imagine it’s going to keep you fairly busy over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed the weather stays good for you as you tick it all off.
Thanks for your comment Helen. Since writing the post the plans for the plot have nearly been finished. The grrenhouse is all complete, the beds have been dug and some have even been planted. Still got the brassica cage to build and the seating area to sort out. The weather has been kind so far but we are due for a cold snap this weekend.
The weather has been strange in Italy as well, We have gone from winter to summer overnight. Spring never happened. 4 weeks ago, Luigina the wise old lady from next door told me, it was a new moon and I should be planting. So I did.
I seeded all sorts, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, oh the list goes on. The only plants that have started to pop through are onions and peas, oh and weeds, lots of them. I am not sure whether to re seed or sit back, drink some wine and wait.
Wine and wait seems good to me but then the weeds may take over! I sowed a few carrots, beetroot and turnip outside and have a few squashes, pumpkins and cucumbers in the greenhouse waiting for the warmer weather. Ask Luigina if it is ok that I planted these now of should I wait till the next full moon!
Congratulations on the new plot Debb. A new allotment is always a challenge, but so rewarding when you harvest from your hard work. And just think what that wonderful exercise will do for your health and wellbeing. Hope the spring weather is kind to you after all that snow.
Thanks Jean. The weather has been fairly warm recently although we are due a cold snap over the weekend. Time to protect the crops. The new plot is nearly organised so will keep you posted with the update soon.
I must say your allotment photo’s have that enchanting look about them of delightful promises for the future!