I was just about to start sowing celeriac, and celery but the weather has turned very cold again. I think that the seed sowing will have to wait until this cold snap is over. I need to sow some lettuce, early peas, cabbage, and cauliflower too but they need the weather to be a little more clement to be successful.
However, this gives me time to continue with the sieve digging that I am doing on the new allotment. There is not a lot more to do but it is quite unpleasant with a cold north easterly wind blowing. As the allotment boundary slopes at the bottom I will finish one side before the other. The ground has not been dug in this area before by the looks of things but I think that I will double dig closer to the hedge. The hedge will not be damaged and whether I use this area or not it will remove the Calystegia sepium which will be an irritation if it is not removed.
People ask me how my allotment looks so good in the summer. The reason it does so well is down to the preparation that takes place during the winter. Double and triple digging mixing in lots of organic matter will enable the plants to develop good deep root systems that will sustain them during the summer.
While I have been digging at the new allotment, I have seen very few people working on their allotments. Most will fork over the soil in the spring and sow and plant in soil that is not well mixed and full of weed seeds. To get a worthwhile harvest from an allotment, you have to put the work in and turn the soil over.
I will not neglect the old allotment but with the cold weather there is little to do. The next jobs will be to plant out the onion seedlings and the seed potatoes. Any left over will be put onto the new allotment.
I have not worked out the beds and the rotation system on the new allotment yet but that will be done after I have dug the whole area and can see how much room I have. After planting out the rest of the soft fruit, I don't think that there will be that much room.
I will probably have room enough for a row of runner beans and these will probably be put along the east side of the allotment so that they do not shade the other plants. I have some tall peas which I will plant alongside the runner beans. I have some old concrete reinforcing mesh that will be ideal for growing them up. It is about 5 ft. in height and 10 ft long. I will use some fence posts to support it tied in with garden wire. I don't like making permanent structures on the allotment because I may need to change the design of the garden. Lots of people like to make permanent supports for their runner beans but I like to rotate them. Even though they can be planted in the same ground successfully for several years, they can be useful in adding nitrogen to the soil because they form a symbiosis with nitrogen fixing bacteria.
There was quite a lot of chicken wire on the allotment which seemed associated with various compost heaps. It was covered in Calystegia sepium and I don't think that the previous tenants of the allotment were prepared to take the time to untangle it so they could take it away. I will use this to support the garden peas.