In the last seven days there has been a growth spurt in nature! I may have missed it if I didn’t go around with my nose a few inches away from plants but in seven days things can change quite dramatically.
I spent what felt like the whole of March digging. I was frustrated not to have finished the last veg bed but my back was not happy. Every time I stood up from pulling up a weed I was in pain, so I given it a little break from digging with a bit of tilling. I was told the tiller was easier to use then a rotavator but to be honest if you are not super strong don’t run out and buy one. I tilled the first bed – see photographic evidence, then the Allotment Secretary tilled the second and then we left it there – conclusion the soil was still too wet and heavy. I roped a visiting friend into helping me for the day – bribed her with Cafe Soya and lots of wine! It was great – the weather was warm, we had cake, and she very kindly rough dug over some of the fruit bed!
The fruit bed is coming along a treat. I noticed over the winter this patch of ground does not have very good drainage – which may be well suited for fruit. I’m growing three rows of strawberries – I don’t know what sort, a gifted a red current, three lots of rhubarb which is growing at a rate, and I still have three additional un-planted clumps to give away, I bought two gooseberry bushes from Aldi for £1.49 each, and a plum-tree – but more about that later, and finally two rows of Autumn Bliss raspberries. I am so happy they are sprouting I was worried whether they would actually grow or not as they were out of the ground for months, then I ripped them apart and replanted them in very wet ground for them to finally sit in pools of water for months.
My big project for my allotment will be a herb garden – Most of my herbs were sloppily planted in pots when I moved plots. I planted some in one of the flower beds the other weekend including hops, valerian, vervain, St John’s Wort, elacampane and possibly echinaca, but I’m a long way from laying out these beds.
This is the plan – the blue outline will be the herb garden, the red outlines are the three veg beds, and fruit bed, the yellow is the composting area, and the purple was planed to be fruit trees – I’ve now moved the purple bed to the back and planted the first fruit tree. I spent an hour digging over the ground, making a large hole and lovingly planting a lovely new yellow plum-tree to hear my allotment neighbour stride over to warn me about planting it too close to the apple tree on the neighbouring plot. Apparently it has canker, a disease which affects plums too. Lets hope its ok in its new home next to the old compost heap.