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Wet on the Plot

Finally headed down to the plot on Sunday to discover it was a busy swamp. The recent rain has left the site a mass of puddles. Not everybody thought this a bad thing, a couple of lads had constructed a ramp to ride their bike up and splash down into a deep puddle in the main path.

Judging by their appearance, they’d being doing this a fair few times. A filthy muddy kid is a happy kid.

Val had loaded the kitchen waste bin and a bag of shredded garden waste into the car to take round to the plot, unfortunately she hardly got out of the drive before realising the car had a flat tyre.

Why it was flat, I don’t know. No sign of damage but pumping it back up enough to move the car back onto the drive to change the tyre was enough to make me need a cup of tea before I even got started around the plot.

Well, the kitchen waste and shreddings went onto the compost heap on plot 5, the shreddings are pretty woody and dry so they were watered with a bit of sulphate of ammonia added to the water. This is basically nitrogen and will encourage the woody material to rot down.

Watered the broad beans started in pots in the greenhouse, along with the lettuce. The beans are popping through. Really could have planted the out directly but for the plot not being ready.

It’s been a rough cold March after the wonderful February and everything is way behind, except the weeds of course. They’re always ahead of the game. I’d have hoped to have quite a few things sown out by now and at least had the plots rotovated and ready. The good news is that things tend to catch up even when planted late.

Larry pointed out I’d lost a couple of panes of glass from the large greenhouse in the recent winds. My luck was in, they had landed in the plastic netting being stored between the greenhouses and were undamaged.

I think the strong winds cause the whole house to flex a bit and that’s why panes pop. The large greenhouse was bought second hand and re-erected on the site after sitting around for ages. One major bar was lost and a replacement had to be made up with scavenged bits and I’ve never felt 100% that we got it reconstructed properly. Still, it does the job, mainly.

Back over on plot 5, I planted out shallots. Yes, these are pretty late but I quite simply forgot to get any and we’d ended up getting some from Wilkinsons and some from the pound shop. The garden centres were sold out. The pound shop bags had some rotted ones in there, but Wilkinsons were all good. Wilko’s might be cheap but their quality tends to be good.

These went into the second raised bed on plot 5. Before I planted I raked in a bit of pelleted chicken manure. It’s high nitrogen and, like most organic fertilisers, a slow and steady release unlike chemical nitrogen which is instant. The compost in the beds is good but, according to the supplier, it is a little low in available nitrogen.

Having planted them out some netting went over to stop the dratted pigeons from pulling them out when they start to sprout. They managed to cause havoc with the garlic before I fleeced them so I don’t want to repeat the experience.

By now we were at 6pm and I was the last one on the site. When I arrived it was quite busy, 4 cars on the car park and quite a hive of activity. Now it was absolutely empty and very peaceful.

I heard something on the radio about whether you are an ‘up with lark’ person or a ‘night owl’. Apparently it’s genetic and they even know which gene is responsible for it. We’re definitely in the late group. I’ve seen the dawn come up more often from the night side than the morning side.

Next I dug over a strip that had been left on plot 5 near to the raised beds. I said the plot was wet and it was, one spit (spade depth) below the surface and there was water standing in the bottom of the trench. Having done that, it wasn’t ideal for rotovating.

A quiet sit down on the bench and about half seven I headed home, feeling a lot better than I had when I arrived on site if tired.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
5 comments on “Wet on the Plot
  1. Jon Wright says:

    John,

    When you plant your Shallots or Onions sets, do you leave the top of the bulb just sticking out of the ground?

    On the planting instructions on my Onions it’s saying plant two inches deep, but in the books i’m reading its suggesting leaving the bulbs sticking out.

  2. caroline says:

    The clocks went forward, evenings are light again. Hooray!

  3. Gary says:

    I always plant my onion sets just below the surface, and get the results i desire.
    Books give great advice, but the best way to find out is to try yourself i found.

    Love your site by the way, and there’s a link to you on my blog.

  4. John says:

    I always plant my onions and shallots with the tips showing and then protect from the pigeons. Books are only as good as the author! So my book must be brilliant (well readable, anyway)

  5. jon wright says:

    well I’ll let you know about the book when it arrives 😉

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