Thursday, 18 April 2013

Planted all the Sweet Peas now.

I completed the sweet pea planting giving them a little mychorrhizal fungi and watering them in with dilute comfrey liquid.  I have already lost two to slugs and snails but the others seem to have withstood the onslaught.  I have resorted to using ferric phosphate because the nematodes have not come yet.

Planted out the exhibition broad beans in the same way and covered them with a cloche.  There is only room for one line of climbing french beans because I am using the space for the big peas Alderman, Radio and the heritage one.  I put the support canes up for these today.  I am going to attach nets to the canes so that they can climb as high as they want.  I was going to dig in some of the well rotted manure to the pea bed but I don't think it will be necessary.  I put the manure on the pumpkin bed instead.  I just hoed and raked the bed but I will probably use the Mantis Tiller on it before I plant the peas.

I tidied up the winter cauliflowers.  They have been looking very forlorn since the very cold east winds.  They have some very small cauliflowers forming which I doubt will produce very big curds.  Still they will be out of the way when I want to plant the peas.  

Now that I have emptied one of the compost bins I can turn the other one into it.  I had to repair the emptied compost bin because two of the pallets had pulled apart.  When the bin was empty I could push them together and wire them together.  I began to refill the empty bin but will need to finish this the next time I go to the old allotment.

I planted out the All the Year Round cauliflowers and two rows of cabbage on the hot bed.  I stuck a cane into the bed and left it there for a couple of hours.  When I took it out the bottom was quite warm.  It seems to be working, however whether it will produce any good cauliflowers remains to be seen.  I covered the whole hot bed with scaffold netting supported by blue water pipe.  That will keep the pigeons off and might well keep the cabbage white butterflies from laying eggs on them.

Sowed a speculative row of beetroot - might be a little early for beetroot but I have enough to sow again if necessary.

Dug a little more of the brassica bed but it isn't really necessary at the moment because the cabbage family seedlings will be in the greenhouse for a while yet.  The green manure is covering the ground quite well but there are some ephemeral weeds like groundsel, chickweed and hairy bitter cress growing in between the plants and they will set seed if I don't dig them in quite quickly.

The digging at the new allotment is still grinding away although I have reached the hedge on one side.  There is still far too much bindweed to dig it over without sieving the soil.  So, I am still sieving the soil.  More carpets have slowed me down even further because the bindweed, nettles and ivy had grown through holes and their roots were very firmly anchored to the ground.  I have removed a further two and I think - I hope that the blue one is the last one.  That will be removed when I get down to it.

There is a little apple tree which is leaning almost at 45o onto my allotment.  There were no apples on it last year because it was over shadowed by the hawthorn hedge and covered in bindweed.  I haven't pruned the tree because it is rooted in the next allotment.  I am going to have any apples that come on it unless someone takes on the untidy allotment.

I have carefully raked the allotment except for the small area that I have not dug.  As soon as this area is dug I can start planting in earnest.  The mounds of soil that were against the hedge were probably where weeds were thrown in the past.  Now that the carpets have been taken off them, you can see that they are good top soil.  I cannot waste good topsoil so, when I have sieved it, I have been raking it over the rest of the allotment.

Still a lot more to do before both allotments are full.

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