A windy day on the Allotment

 In Allotment, Blog, Veg Growing

A windy session on Thursday so not a good day for a bonfire but nothing has fallen down, and the netting is still in place.

Last year was a good year for self-sown seedlings from the cowslip growing beside the redcurrant. Cowslips are one of the favourite plants for bumblebees, so some of the bigger plants have been spread around the plot.

We are also working on collecting the leaves from the grassy areas around us. The leaves on the beds with bare earth are left since they act as a mulch over winter. In the past Edinburgh Council have made deliveries of leaves from the parks to the site so we are hopeful this will happen again this year. We use them for mulching the bare beds and making leaf mould in bins.

The kale plants, especially the beautiful curly kale, have had a bad attack of cabbage white fly. Giving a plant a shake releases a cloud of white fly. With cabbages or sprouts it is only the outer leaves that are affected but it is more of a problem with kale. The preferred organic methods would be to leave the birds to deal with it, but unfortunately brassicas have to be netted against the birds otherwise the plants would soon be stripped bare, or we could wait for a hard frost. We rarely have any pest problems but, on this occasion, using an organic spray to help control it is worthwhile and will reduce the spread to the other brassicas in the beds. It was not an easy job on a windy day, but it will help.

There was still a picking today of the autumn raspberries and chard and we inspected the late sowing of carrots in the old fertiliser tubs which gave us a few big enough for a taste in a salad but not much else!

Jobs for next week

  • Cut down the Jerusalem artichoke stems to c.30cm
  • Hopefully get the wood chip on the paths
  • Bonfire if the weather suits
  • And, of course, keep on with the weeding
  • Cut the grass edges

Photo correction – last week’s picture of roots on a piece of rotting plank was the mycelium of a fungus. Mycorrhizal fungi would not be on any old piece of wood,  only on the roots of a tree. Thanks to Alan for the info.

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