Chilly wind on the allotment

 In Allotment, Biochar trial

Discovery Apple BlossomA chilly east wind kept us moving but a bright and sunny day. The apple blossom is now out and looking fine and the first shoots have appeared on the early potatoes, so these were earthed up to protect from the cold and especially any frost. The grass had another cut and we sowed more beetroot and a row of purple Milan turnips. Succession crops of broad beans and peas were sown direct and fingers crossed the mice leave them alone. Green manures improve soil condition and fertility and we sowed some in a bed which will be empty until the middle of next month. Ian’s sweet peas are holding their own and some annual flowers have been sown around for the bees and us to enjoy.

Biochar Trial- No difference as yet between the biochar beds and the control beds.The salad crops sown in the pallets have germinated but show no difference in germination rate or growth. On main biochar trial bed, the onions have put out shoots but similarly show no difference.Caley allotment biochar 24th May
The Japanese vegetables sown at home are now germinating but need to put on growth and be hardened off before planting out next month.

Jobs for next week: Sow carrots in the tub and another 3 rows in the roots bed; Weeding – especially the comfrey bed; Set up a windbreak round the Japanese vegetable bed.

We shall all be helping at Gardening Scotland next weekend but will still be on the allotment as usual on Thursday.

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  • Richard

    We have noticed accelerated germination when using biochar, but so far in the ‘Black&Green’ trial at Whitmuir there is very little difference between ongoing growth in the char/non-char plots. The literature says this is to be expected, as it takes time for beneficial bugs (bacteria and fungi) to colonise the pore spaces in the char. For daft reasons (to do with Soil Association restrictions) we were unable to ‘inoculate’ the char used in our – and your – beds. We wanted to soak the biochar in ‘compost tea’, but because the Soil Association regs didn’t allow us to use comfrey that wasn’t grown at Whitmuir (despite the fact it was Bocking 14 bought at the HDRA – now Garden Organic – and grown in tubs at home in organic compost without the use of chemicals of any kind) we weren’t allowed to use it! So don’t expect miracles this year. Better still, never expect miracles. Then, when they happen, you will be pleasantly surprised!

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