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Allotment Competition Update, Onion Problems

Allotment Competition

Saturday


I’ve never really been too bothered about the competition, after all I grow for the crops rather than a prize and there are other plots far more deserving than mine of a prize on the site. But having entered, I thought I’d best make an attempt to have my plot at least looking respectable, so most of today, Saturday, has been spent weeding plot 5.


Having cleared the weeds from around the surviving onions at the top of plot 5, I must say they look a bit sad and lonely. Of over 100 Red Baron planted I have half a dozen feeble looking specimens left.


I took the opportunity to give a really thorough watering while I was at it.


I’m pretty sure that I am not going to be placed at all this year, we now apparently have four entrants and the other plots are all better than mine.


Of the other competitors, one is retired, one is unemployed and the other plot is a joint effort between 2 brothers and a wife. They all have more time than me to play with their plot. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.


Sunday


Carrots and beans


The plan for today was to sow some carrots and dwarf French beans. Digging over the patch for the carrots was pretty hard, the soil having become concrete so watered it to make it a little easier. I tried to use the Mantis but it was still a bit hard so broke it up with a spade and then gave it another spray to lighten it up.


Onions


While I was waiting for the water to soak in to and ease the soil at the top of the plot, I harvested the Japanese onions from further down the plot. They’re certainly better than those at the top.


Compost


Finished emptying the compost bin of wood chippings from last year. They’re not very rotted despite having had sulphate of ammonia and natural urea added so used them to make some paths across the plot. Hopefully they will rot in and add some organic matter to the soil in the end. Now ready to transfer from the other bin and re-build the heap to finish it off.


Back to the centre onion bed where I hoed off the weeds, that’s the whole plot looking reasonable for the competition if not perfect.


Potato Problems and Dithane


Some of the spuds are looking a bit poorly with yellowing leaves so gave them a preventative spray of Dithane, did the tomatoes and onions on both plots while I had some mixed. As I’ve said before, I’d prefer not to spray at all but I do want a crop. My couple of applications of a fungal disease inhibitor is nothing compared to what the farmers probably use.


I’ve asked Larry to pick the judges brains on Tuesday, shame I won’t be there.


New People on the Site


We’ve new people coming on board as Tony is giving up plot 28. Sad to see him go but the new people seem really nice and interesting. I think it’s 2 families sharing. They were telling me they had been out of the UK for 13 years running a diving centre in Spain. There’s not much call for diving centres in Crewe so they’re teaching at Sandbach. I think they’ll do really well and hope they enjoy their new allotment.


Larry has, of course, filched Tony’s horse manure. More political corruption amongst the apparatchiks of the allotment world.


Quiet on the site


By quarter to four the site was very empty, everyone had gone back home. In fact the only people onboard were me and Poshbins as he calls himself on the forums. We had heard there was a football match on. I didn’t know Crewe Alexandra were so popular.


Mantis Troubles


Back to the top of plot 5 and started the Mantis on creating a fine tilth to plant in. I demonstrated the Mantis Tiller to Poshbins aand off they went. Next the Mantis made a grinding noise and the tines stopped going round. I immediately switched off and need to take it hope for a strip down and check. Hope it’s nothing too serious, I suspect the linkage to the worm gear is loose. That makes me sound more clever than I would be if I knew what a worm gear was.


Got the Merry Tiller out and went over the patch. The Merry Tiller is really a bit too large for a confined space but it did do the job. Having done that job it started to spit with rain and the time had moved on to 5.30pm. Since we’re eating early tonight as I’ve a silly early start tomorrow headed home .I’d love to know where the time goes.

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