It’s taken a couple of days, but I’ve got all my compost off the path and seem to have escaped with just twinges in the back rather than full grown ‘I can’t move’ back agony. Some was piled on plot 29 and the rest went directly onto the potatoes and a pile on plot 5.
I’m hoping that this investment will have a dramatic long term effect on the soil as well as better crops in the short term. There are a number of things you can do to improve a clay soil such as keeping the Ph up, adding sand and grit but the best thing is organic matter. So 10 tonnes of compost plus the leafmould, manure, green manure, home made compost should make it easier next year. Should.
Planted King Edward Potatoes
Having previously used the trusty Mantis to produce three trenches, I filled these with compost and planted the King Edwards. The seed potatoes were from the allotment association shed but were very uneven in size. Some quite big and some tiny. The Sarpo, on the other hand, from T&M are all about the size of a hen’s egg. I’m afraid you have to pay for quality.
Potato Problem – Where to Plant?
I now have a bit of a problem with the potatoes, where to put the Sarpo and a few Kind Edwards left over. Rotation systems are great in theory but dividing a plot into 3 or 4 or 5 depends on growing equal amounts and few of us do that. However, I don’t want to plant potatoes where the brassicas were planted as they had a lot of lime, which potatoes don’t like too much.
Neither do I want to plant potatoes on the same spot where they were grown last year. This leaves me with a problem. I think they (the Sarpo) will end up in the large bed on plot 29 that had potatoes two years ago. Not ideal but with all this compost the soil could be considered ‘fresh’.
Tomatoes, Better Late Than Never
My first sowing of tomatoes was a bit of a mixed bag. Not to mention freezing and cooking some of the seedlings. The second sowing has been much better with one exception, the San Marzano plum tomatoes. Wish I’d stuck to my tried and tested Plum Roma.
I now have Ailsa Craig, Sungold and Garden Pearl in abundance in the greenhouse. My rule of thumb is to take up to about twice what I want in 3" pots. This provides spares in case of failure that can be given away.
The Gardeners Delight given to me by Larry & Gaynor are doing really well and will soon be going into the greenouse on the plot. They’re about 9" tall and the roots are trying to escape the pot.
Normally I plug in my headphones to my portable radio and listen to Radio 4 when I’m on the allotment but I’ve had an MP3 player for my birthday. It’s incredible, smaller than a matchbox with 1Gb of memory and cost £15. The amount of music it holds means the battery runs out before you can play everything on there. When I think about my LPs (for younger readers, a method of analog encoding of music onto a material called vinyl that was played back by mechanical means) I couldn’t even carry them all.
So I energised myself to keep barrowing that compost with some music. Bit of a mixed selection mainly pre 1976 when music was good. Rotovating along to the strains of Steppenwolf and planting with Norman Greenbaum and Donovan. It’s not all the classics, though. Dare I admit to enjoying the cheeky song?
Talking of entertainment, my good pal Richard Cannon of ‘Down the Lane’ sent me a DVD he’s made. Talk about laughter and tears. He does this thing called The Great Escape which had tears of laughter rolling down my face. It’s his expressions that make it. It has a section on battery hens as well, tears of a different sort..