Sunday, 23 October 2011

Clearing the sweet pea bed and washing the pots

Today was a clearing of the sweet pea bed time.  The canes had been taken down and stored securely in one of the empty compost bays.  I still haven't cleared out the shed at the moment so they cannot be stored in there.

There was a little weed on the bed but it was not too bad.  There were several patches of mare's tail, which were carefully taken out.  I doubt if I have reached the main stem because they snapped off about 30 cm down.

I am only single digging this bed.  I want to bury the old sweet pea and runner bean plants so that any nitrogen that their rhizobium bacteria have fixed and passed into the plant, gets incorporated into the soil.

I was going to cut up the sweet pea plants as I dug but they were a little too tough for that.  It probably could have been done that way if the plants were still green but these were brown and dry and did not want to be cut up.

As I dug I put whole plants at the bottom of the trench.  This worked really well and I used my onion hoe to scrape in any weeds as well.  At dinner  time (that is lunch time for everyone else) I went to get some milk and flapjacks and put the kettle on for a cup of tea.  While the water was being heated up to boil, I washed some of the pots up.  This cleans my hands as well and means that I can eat my flapjacks.  I have soap and towels at the allotment too.

After a couple of cups of tea and flapjacks I went back to digging.  The ground is very dry and the soil is like dust at the moment.  We desperately need some rain.  I wanted to change one of the upright supports for the black berry because it was ideal for supporting the sweet peas.  I had a much smaller tree support to replace it with and it went in the same hole.  All the big sweet pea supports were stored away behind the main shed.

Carried on digging for a while and at 4pm stopped for another cup of tea and flapjacks.  While the water came to the boil I washed some more of the pots.  It was a fairly warm day today, so I did not mind getting my hands wet.  Had two cups of tea and a flapjack and decided to go back and finish washing all the pots.  I would rather do it on a relatively warm day like today than a freezing cold one later in the year.

So I have washed all the pots that were in the store shed on the allotment.  I have still to wash the ones that are in the shed at home but that can be done in the green house later in the year.  It gives me a lot more room in the store shed but it will still have to be sorted out so I can store my canes in there.

After finishing the pots, I went back to digging. I have only done about 2/3 of the bed but I will finish it tomorrow.  I am going to sow green manure after I have finished.  I will use the rest of the grazing rye and tares.

Picked some more tomatoes - it's the end of October! and some celeriac and while I was cleaning them up to take home I noticed one of the parsnips had gone to seed.  This is the first time I have seen this happen.  I think that it is due to the very dry weather.

Tomorrow I will get some glass for the greenhouse and some compost for the sweet peas.

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