Plough Field Allotments.
Some Interesting Progress
Some Interesting Progress
is just about one month since I first took possession of my allotment
and I have made some interesting progress. After the driest March on
record it seems that we have had the driest and warmest April with none
of the traditional April showers at all. The only benefit that this has
brought for my allotment is that it has killed the upturned turfs from
the initial ploughing and it is very easy to break them up. There is
very little effort needed now to dig, but it is turning the soil to dust
as the “Crumb Structure” is damaged.
extremely dry conditions haven’t helped the new plantings either,
especially the late raspberries that were planted as bare root. Being
“lates” they may catch up and I am just grateful they were not “earlys.”
The rhubarb seems to be coping well thanks to all the manure round it,
but the stalks are very short. Initially I was trying to water every
day, but I am reducing that in the hopes that the plants will go down
for the water as surprisingly the undisturbed soil is still damp a few
inches below the dust dry surface.
delayed planting my “Pink Fir Apple” potatoes that had been started
off in trays because of the dryness, but have been forced to put them in
now anyway, as the shoots were getting too long. I was dreading having
to dig out the trench, but with the soil drying up and the heat, the
turfs just crumbled as I easily dug out a long trench and earthed them
battle of wits with the rabbits is proving interesting as they
definitely don’t seem to like the Garlic, or surprisingly, the Onions
that are now shooting. The Laurel stalks that I spread thickly between
them are disappearing, so maybe they are distracting the rabbits. Other
allotment holders have planted onions without any protection and they
haven’t been touched as yet either though. The Jerusalem artichokes
are shooting very well and the rabbits are very definitely interested in
them, although they will never have seen them before. The underground
tubers won’t have started to develop yet, but the rabbits are already
digging little scrapes looking for them.
Others allotment holders seem to be planting mainly potatoes and onions, probably because they are cheap to start off and fill a new plot. One grower is using large plastic pop bottles with the tops and bottoms cut off to cover and protect their young plants. Two plots have covered their seed beds with low cages of chicken wire and plastic mesh.
It is beginning to look like I might get my original request for an allotment in my home village and that site is going to be rabbit fenced, hopefully! This will make it better for planting smaller vegetables like celery, celeriac, asparagus, radishes, lettuces, etc. Being a little closer to home it will also be better for things like beans that need lots of water as it will be easier to pop down on foot to water at anytime.
problem for many on the new site will be it’s late construction, as we
will have totally missed early plantings of all sorts of things
including early raspberries and onion seed that is always traditionally
sown on boxing day. Fortunately, I have started a lot of frost tender
plants vegetable plants like beans, in trays, so that they can be