Allotment Blog November 2006
Well what a week it has been.
Last Monday was our 35th wedding anniversary, so we decided to go away for a few days. We went to Potters on the Suffolk and Norfolk boarder. We had a fantastic time, three meals a day and plenty of sports, i.e. squash, table tennis, swimming, badminton. Fantastic entertainment in the evenings. I still managed to put on four pounds in weight.
So my first visit to the allotment was on Saturday. I dug my bottom small bed and picked some raspberries a cabbage and some broccoli.
Sunday I dug the second small bed ready for next year. All the three small beds are dug ready for next year. I just need to concentrate on the three large beds, by first removing my old raspberry canes, clearing some grass paths and removing my runner beans. This I will tackle next week.
Digging for victory this week as I clear one of my large beds, ready for brassicas next year.
Old Summer Raspberry canes being strangled with couch grass ready to be cleared
Tuesday I dug up my old summer fruiting raspberry canes that were being strangled with couch grass. I then gave the canes to a new member at the allotment. As it was a damp and misty day I had a bonfire clearing rubbish that had accumulated over the past six months.
Started digging the plot to expose couch grass rhizomes for lifting out. see tips and tricks for more details. This is a time consuming job, but it has to be done. Continued to dig plot and remove couch grass on Friday.
Saturday was a bright but cold morning I continued to dig and remove the couch grass and I am almost halfway there.
Large bed almost half dug and couch grass still to be removed, and the plots dug to date.
Another week over, and a new one begins. I went to the allotment Monday and Tuesday and have finished the digging on the couch grass infested plot. This will be Bed 3 and will be used for my potatoes.
Bed No 3 has now been dug ready for next years potatoes
Wednesday was a nice bright morning, so I decided to pick my last raspberries before removing the plants ready for next year. The first job I tackled was to remove the grass path beside the raspberry canes as it would be in the middle of the new bed being got ready for next year. This is now Bed 2 and will be used for brassicas.
I cut the turfs of grass and laid them onto the area which separate the two remaining beds ready for next year.
Thursday was a miserable day, overcast and windy with showers. It was too wet to dig and clear the raspberry canes on bed 2 so I went to the allotment to place grease bands around my fruit trees, what a mucky job, this may be because the grease bands I used were old ( I was given them by another allotment holder). I am not complaining, I was grateful. I managed to do two of my trees before the grease bands run out, Everything I touched was sticky the string, knife, and my camera as I took photos.
I am now off to buy some new grease bands to finish the job, and lets hope they are not so mucky to use, I will let you know.
I purchased the grease bands. It was a windy but bright day on Friday so I went to the allotment and completed the job of grease banding the rest of my fruit trees. This time I wore a pair of disposable gloves, this worked a lot better, but it is still a very sticky job. Because the weather was bright I dug up the autumn raspberry canes and gave them away to other allotment holders.
Saturday was another very bright morning so my task was to clear bed 2 of couch grass and dig over ready for next years brassicas. Well I started off very well, but because we have had some rain the ground was very sticky and the amount of couch grass was horrendous so I spent 41/2 hours and only completed 3/4 of the 2m x 6m area. It was taking about 30 min just to complete 2m row. I will need to go back on Sunday to complete the bed. I was planning to have a morning off, well that's life. The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow.
It's Sunday and a very bright morning. I continued with the digging of bed 2 removing the rest of the couch grass and raspberry roots. It has now been completed. This means all my winter digging is completed my only digging will be in the spring when my brassicas have been picked and eaten.
A late start this week I didn't get to the allotment until Wednesday, Monday we went out for the day and Tuesday I had to wait for a delivery. Anyway, back to the point, I cut down my asparagus bed and pulled up weeds and couch grass. I spent a lot of time last year removing the couch from this bed, and like magic it's back again. I need to make a decision, do I remove the asparagus plants then dig and remove the couch grass. and replace the plants after, or just keep hoeing and removing it as it comes up, or start over again with some new asparagus plants. The reason I am thinking of replacing the plants is that I grew these from seed about 5-6 years ago and they are mixed male and female and have not produced very well. So I am going to think about it over winter. Whatever I decide I will need to place a barrier around the bed down to about 8in below the ground to stop the rhizomes from spreading from the grass area around the bed.
I also decided to clear the greenhouse. My greenhouse is 10ft x 8 ft and in the past I grew the crops using large pots and grow bags. This year I thought I would dig the greenhouse and plant directly into the ground. The main reasons for this is that the plants seem to do a lot better growing directly in the ground, there would not be such a watering problem in the summer months, as pots dry out a lot quicker. So I cleared the greenhouse and dug up the bed shape so that I could add some water to soften up the soil ready for composting.
I had a day off on Thursday as I had a little bit of decorating to do at home. So I went to the allotment on Friday and added compost to bed 3 ready for potatoes. I then composted the greenhouse and added more water to break down the soil. The compost has been in the bin for about three years and appears to have broken down well.
Saturday was a really wet and windy day so I worked on the web site ready to upload on Monday. Sunday was an excellent day bright sun and for the time of the year it was warm. The main job I did was to fill one of my compost bins to the brim with house manure that a local person delivers to the allotments. I then covered the bin so that it can rot down over the next couple of years.