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Brassica, Squash & On the Radio

I managed some plot time on Thursday, so the ‘spare’ brassicas that wouldn’t fit in the Wonderwall tent went in on the raised bed. I’ve managed to net fairly well, so hopefully that will keep the butterflies away although one of the nets is a bit tatty and has some holes in it.

Lime Shortage? Nonsense!

Once again, added lime to the planting holes as I went along to keep the pH up and deter clubroot. I’m depending on the netting to keep the cabbage root fly off as well. We’ll see if the theory works later in the year.

I read the other day that lime is a finite resource and should only be used if no other alternative is available. Now I don’t know of any alternative to lime and if the author knew of one he wasn’t saying but regardless, I hardly think lime is going to run out.

Garden lime is made of ground limestone or chalk. You know, the stuff that makes the white cliffs of Dover white. There’s masses of lime around and I really can’t see gardening and farming making a dent in it.

I can see the argument to some degree about peat use – although I do think there’s a lack of joined up thinking about it, but lime? I don’t think of it as a non-renewable resource, more a small re-distribution.

Planting Squash & Pumpkins

I’d got some squashes and pumpkins in the greenhouse in large pots and they went out onto plot 5. They take quite a lot of space for the yield but this year I’m growing less anyway so space isn’t so tight.

I dug quite large holes relative to the pot size and mixed fish, blood & bone and pelleted chicken manure into the soil in the hole. Ideally I’d have used a load of compost but I’ve used it all this year. Squashes are greedy plants and hopefully they’ll do well on the fertiliser.

Moving House

Because we’re hoping to move at some point I don’t want to try moving loads of full freezers so we’re simply growing less. I’ve not put any sprouts in this year as I expected to be moved by October / November. Judging by the lack of interest in the housing market, I’ve probably made a mistake. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re here this time next year.

We’re hoping to move to somewhere with land, really an acre or more. There’s a lot of property available in our price bracket – assuming we can sell this house at a fair price. We’ve dropped £10,000 on what the estate agent suggested recently so maybe that will spark some interest.

Radio Manchester Appearance

Friday was quite exciting. I was asked back onto the Heather Stott show on BBC Radio Manchester. Now Heather is a lovely person in reality as well as on the radio so I didn’t feel quite as nervous as the first time, but still a little scared.

I set out allowing an extra half hour in case I hit traffic, which was a good move. I missed a turn and ended up spending 25 minutes circling around Manchester city centre, getting very lost in the process.

Eventually I made it with 5 minutes to spare and it was off into the depths of the building to the studios. I wonder what goes on in that great big building as the studios are really quite small. The canteen is rather swish but I didn’t have time for a coffee before we started this time – just a hasty plastic cup of water.

By the time I got home and handled the jobs sitting in the email inbox there wasn’t time for the plot. Well to be honest, I sat down around 6pm and dozed off. Perhaps the heat was getting to me.

Tomorrow is promising to be a scorcher – great in some ways but a good thunderstorm with an inch or two of rain wouldn’t do any harm.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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