Stgeli's Allotment blog


Describing my allotment since 2011

Archive for March, 2011

Preparing for potatoes

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Potatoes are a good way of breaking up soil that has had nothing of value in it ever. Therefore the first crop that will go into the new places will be good old spuds.

Forking through the weeds is a long and tiring process particularly as I only have a border fork at the moment until I finally get around to buying a proper one. Plus there are lots of seriously deep rooted weeds plus last year’s crop of Hymilayan balsam have started to show.

Long term and lots of work but in about three years it will start to look like my allotment currently does.

Something in the ground

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

At last I have a line stretched across a planting bed. In this case it is broad beans which have never failed me in all the years I have been the keeper of that plot. I’m just planting four rows over the next four or so weeks as they tend to produce a lot of beans so that many is enough for us over the year.

They also attract bees which is a good thing these days.

I also took up the first large sheet of cardboard to place around the fruit bushes and trees for coverage.

Hedge work

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

As part of the “try and keep control of the hedges” that happens annually, I completed the major thinning on the northern half of the west hedge. I managed this task without stabbing myself on any of the numerous thorns that abound in a hawthorn and bramble hedgerow. The plan is to have a lower but denser hedge that will not block light, be easy to manage yet provide sanctuary for the birds. It looks a bit bleak at the moment but it should encourage it to grow sideways rather than up.

I also got some weeding of the asparagus beds done. Only a few more weeks before they start to deliver their wonderful spears.

No show from my sown leeks yet although some of the onions are starting to appear. Hopefully the warm weather recently will encourage them.

Clearing and weeding

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Spent time clearing up the remainder of the leaves from the winter plus more grass root removal from the front. The recent wind had taken its toll on the weed covering material so there was work there.

No showing from my leeks and onions yet.

Poppy clearing

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Just a short time up there yesterday where I cleared the residue of the California poppies that line the main pathway. They have self seeded since going in in 2006 and are a lovely display when they are out.


Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Bit late, you’d think but this was the area where the swedes were growing and the last of them was taken out. Well, not technically the last of them as there were a load of rotten ones that got dug in. Curse the terrible winter. Normal low temperatures they usually cope with but -16c was just too much for them to take.

So a bit of digging to finish off that patch. All that remains untouched since last year are the parsnips and leeks both of which still have useful items still in the ground.

I also trimmed back some of the blackcurrants and cut off the dead portions of the roses.

I had intended to take some pictures but forgot the camera. Still never mind.

Sticking canes in the ground

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Strange title, no?

It refers to my pre planting “ritual” of marking out where stuff will be planted in the rotated beds that I use. It involves random sized canes and my size ten wellingtons as I work out where the peas, potatoes and such like are going to be planted.

This year I’m largely concentrating on the useful stuff like potatoes, onions, peas etc. rather than the aesoteric things like celeriac which I have never managed to grow successfully (that’s another story).

Away from the veg, all the crocuses are now up and out while the tulips and daffodils are still just collections of green leaves. Mine always seem to be behind my neighbour’s whose are already in bud.