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Rabbits and Rats on the Allotment

Wildlife on Site

Following the saga of Ben the Rat today I spotted Benjamin Bunny hopping along the bottom of the plot. Lawrence (the rep) has mentioned him before, but this is the first time I’ve seen him.


Apparently there was a plague of rabbits some time back and the rabbit proof fencing was erected around the site. lawrence told me they ate everything but lettuce. Obviously they had read Beatrix Potter and knew that lettuce has a soporific effect!


Seriously, bit of a worrying development – we really don’t want the flopsy bunnies on site.


On the good side, I came across Tommy Toad in the leafmould on plot 29. Less of a shock than meeting Sid the Snake in the leafmould on plot 5 last year. Toads eat slugs, which gets them my vote.


Potatoes


Harvested the last maincrops off plot 29. Just three carrier bags full – say about 15 KG. Not been a bad crop overall although reducing slug damage is the priority for next year. The Sarpo are great boiled, baked or mashed but do not roast or chip well at all.


I notice that Thomson & Morgan are offering a new Sarpo variety for next year, Sarpo Axona. That will be on the list.


Leafmould


The leaves are starting to turn and fall so it’s time to clear the leafmould cages to make space for the next loads.


They’re quite well rotted down, wonderful crumbly stuff and the grit that comes with them helps break up our soil. I spread it over the ground, around two inches thick and then either dig it in or rotovate after a week or so. This gives the worms a bit of a chance to get involved.


Covered the bed where the brassicas were and started covering the potato bed.


The next job will be to decide whether to leave things rough dug to allow the frost to break the soil down or to plant some winter green manure. The soil on plot 29 is pretty good, so probably the latter. I also need to run some pH tests and see what needs lime.


As I was getting a bit tired and aching, weeded a deep bed. That doesn’t take much effort.


Finished around six o’clock as the light started to fade after a last look around to see if I could spot the rabbit  again.

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