Forward planning on the Allotment
As the season progresses, crops are harvested and, to avoid leaving bare soil, it is a good idea to sow green manures which help with both the fertility and structure of your soil. The beds with the onions and early potatoes are now cleared and were sown with a green manure mixture which will be dug in in around six weeks time. Some green manures will stand up to the frost so can be left all winter helping to maintain the soil structure. The beds have to be netted of course against the birds – the wood pigeons were down on the bed even before we managed to get the netting on!
The main crop potatoes are ready, so time to cut down the shaws. We leave the potatoes in the ground for a couple of weeks to allow the skins to harden before digging them up.
Growing vegetables means you are always planning ahead so now is the time to plant out the young broad beans, variety ‘Luz de Otano’, which will be ready around Christmas. This was successful last year, so fingers crossed it happens again. Looking ahead again we were given a couple of globe artichoke plants. These make amazing architectural plants as well as giving a – very little – tasty treat so one to look forward to for next year.
More netting again with the apples netted against the birds – just in time! – and we had a first picking of the cooker ‘Grenadier’.
The Victoria plums are colouring up and should have been thinned before now. Quality is better than quantity since we are growing them for eating.
We had a wonderful picking again from the sweet peas and still a good one too from the blueberries along with courgettes and beans. Some energetic path weeding was done and since there has been a week with little rain and fruit and vegetables growing and ripening, we had the hose out again.
Jobs for next week
- Weeding the leeks, brassica bed
- Cut back the strawberry runners to number wanted
- Check the apples for ripeness
- Thin the plums