Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday On The Allotment - 17 Mar - Peas

A lovely sunny morning in West Cornwall - so off again to my plot out in the hills.

Its starting to feel as if Spring really is on the way - and for the first time in ages there were quite a few of my fellow allotmenteers out on the site.

St Ives Allotment - Fleece Cloches
As you can see - my fleece cloches have not survived Winter very well at all - in fact they are completely trashed.

Not sure if they've been attacked by pigeons or other wildlife.

More likely its the ravages of wind and weather - our allotment site is very exposed ......

St Ives Allotment - Net Cloches
By contrast - the net cloches - sheltering my onions and leeks - are looking pretty solid.

Yet another lesson learned - the fleece clothes are for Spring and Summer use only.

Good job I bought them in the Autumn sale at half price.

So my first job was sorting out the peas - planted in Autumn with the aim of getting a head start. Once I got into the bed - they weren't looking too bad. They were a bit choked by weeds and a few of the young plants had rotted off in the wet ground. But most were ok and growing on fairly strongly - a few even had flowers already.

Autumn Sown Peas
The main problem was that they were growing horizontally on the ground with no supports. As a first step I put in some short canes and tied the plants up - to get them off the soil and into the sunlight. I also cleared back the weeds.

The next step will be to put up pea netting supported by taller canes in two rows. I'll try to enclose the peas completely in net to protect them from birds - plus this will give them support to cling onto as they grow upwards.

So far - it looks as if my plan to sow in Autumn and get a head start for my peas in Spring has paid off. Time will tell - and as ever we are all praying for some good weather and a decent Summer to follow.

More news from my St Ives allotment will follow soon.

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