Sunday, 9 October 2011

Clearing the ground for next year

Before starting to clear the pea and bean bed, I wanted to plant out all of the tulip bulbs I had.  I have quite a few now and they needed quite a bit of room.  I am going to plant the curbits and cucumbers when the tulips have gone over.  This means that I will not be tempted to put anything else in this area.  I have planted them between the new broad beans.  The broad beans will not produce anything significant this late in the year but they will provide some extra green manure and cover the ground for a while.

I put pigeon manure sparingly along the line and hoed it in.  Afterwards, I used the cultivator and finally the rake to smooth the line.  A fairly deep drill was taken out so that the tulips could sit at the bottom and be covered by a good depth of soil.  Before setting the bulbs in, I watered the drill with comfrey liquid.  Three rows of tulips were planted and then the ground was raked carefully so that I didn't pull any of the bulbs out of the ground.

I hoed the rest of the bed because there was some weed germination and afterwards the bed did look really good.

I then went up and washed some pots and trays to put away for the winter.  I am trying to empty the storeshed so that I can store the sweet pea and runner bean canes in there.  The pots and trays are just taking up room unnecessarily.

I used one of the trays to put the Cannellini and Bortolini beans in when I harvested them.  I thought that I would only do a few because shelling beans is a seriously boring job.  However, I got through them all and got a full seed tray of beans.  Not a great deal but sufficient for me.  Some of the beans had rotted in their shells so I had to discard them but not too many.  I took the plants out and left them on the side to dig in later.  I then took down the climbing French bean supports.  These beans did not do very well this year and I will make a bit more of an effort to grow them well next year.

It does not seem as though I had done very much but it got dark about 5:30 and I had to leave it there or garden in the dark.

I am learning the Latin names of some common evergreen shrubs.

Prunus laurocerasus
Acuba japonica
Fatsia japonica
Skimmia japonica
Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken'
Ilex  aquifolium
Mahonia x media 'Charity'
Vibernum davidii
Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata'
Berberis darwinii

At least four of which I have in my garden.  None of which I particularly like.  Prunus laurocerasus does make a good hedge and screens off unsightly fences and sheds as do a number of the others.

Next job on the allotment is to clear the pea and bean bed, dig it over and plant green manure on it. Clear out the store shed a bit more and wash some of the pots and trays. Actually all the unwashed trays are in the shed at home so it will only be the pots and there are enough of them!

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