|View from the top of the plot|
I've been spending quite a lot of time at the allotment lately and already the above view is looking quite different. Much tidier! I've been meaning to write about my plans for the plot since I gave up half of it just over a year ago, but last year's dreadful season meant I never got around to it.
The thicket you can see are my raspberries 'Autumn Bliss'. These of course are remaining because they're prize winning. Last year I experimented with not cutting the canes down in February* and as a result obtained an earlier crop and a heavier yield. Definitely worth repeating this year.
Behind the raspberries is a mess of gooseberries from which I'm currently trying to extract a vigorous bramble. So far the bramble (aided and abetted by the gooseberries) is winning...
|And guess where this view is from...|
My major project at the moment (apart from plot clearing) is the installation of some raised beds. After the task of emptying out the compost bins to fill them up (who needs gym membership?!), they're so much easier to maintain and keep weed free. There are 5 so far - 3 with strawberries and the other two have garlic, shallots and onions. The latter two are also host to another biochar experiment to see how I get on with different crops to those I trialled last year. I have another 2 to set up - probably playing host to my peas and carrots, though I suspect there'll be an overflow of lettuces at some point as I've sown so many.
When I gave up half of the plot, I was worried it would bring a halt to my experimenting, but happily so far that hasn't been the case. I'm also planning on trying some Oca this year, probably right there in the front of the picture. I have 7 tiny little tubers to plant as soon as the soil's ready...
A major shock this week has been the removal of the trees bordering the plot by the owners of the garden over the fence. I now realise that the trees were probably helping to prop up my shed, so it's time to get a new one. An unexpected bonus has been getting to know my hitherto unseen neighbours, who are great. Unfortunately this won't last for long as they're planning on having a higher fence. However, yesterday they gave me a large compost bin, some wire mesh to go underneath it, plus some metal poles which are ideal for building part of the new supports I'm planning for the apples. Result!
I was sad to lose half of my plot, but lately I've realised I'm falling back in love with my allotment again. It takes about a week to clear now and is much more manageable. As soon as everything's been cleared and planted up, I'll draw up a new plot plan for you to peruse. The pictures on today's post are also a bit of a 'before', so I'll post some 'after' shots too - taken on a sunny day I hope!
* = a tip gleaned from My Tiny Plot, who in turn gleaned it from Which? Gardening.