Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday On The Allotment - The Cusp Of Spring

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - March 2017
St Ives Cornwall Allotment - March 2017

Had an enjoyable but routine morning on the allotment- mainly clearing ground ready for Spring sowing and planting.

Slightly overcast weather, but fairly warm, with glimpses of blue sky.

As mentioned in my previous posts, I'm restraining my natural impatience to get seeds in the ground, still a bit too early for most of them.

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - March 2017

So I focussed on yet more preparation work. I continued clearing down some of the Winter Field Beans. Grown as green manure to cover the beds, retain nutrients and keep the weeds down a bit.

They are looking a bit bedraggled, after their sterling work over the Winter. Some are starting to flower, so I'm keeping some growing in the hope of collecting seed, to use next Autumn.

The bed that I cleared is earmarked for Black Salsify seeds in April, baby Leek plants in May and more Carrots. Plus maybe some new root crops, I try to sow something new and different each season. If you have any ideas, please post a comment.

I've also been thinking and planning ahead to next Autumn. My Strawberry bed is looking a bit tired and general advice is to move these every 3 or 4 years anyway. It is also quite weedy. I made a basic mistake when I first planted this bed up. I was in a hurry so didn't clear the weeds or apply mulch properly, so the weeds keep coming back.

New Strawberry Bed

So I've made a start on a new bed, next to the existing one on some ground that I've left fallow for the last couple of years. Or - maybe put more honestly - I didn't get round to / couldn't be bothered to clear and mulch! I'll post more on that as it develops. In particular, I've developed further interest in the "no dig" approach to creating new growing beds. I've found a few interesting blog posts and YouTube videos on this subject and different approaches. Watch this space.

Final note - on my favourite subject (maybe slight obsession!) of compost and composting. I'm clearing this area by cutting out the turf in small manageable slices, simply using my spade. I've found the best way to deal with these is to build a "turf pile" rather than add to the (already full) compost bin.

Turf Pile - Composting

So here is my growing pyramid of turf, next to the compost bins. This is full of thick grass roots, so I'll leave it for a couple of years to fully compost down, then add to the beds.

Final - final note - this is my latest little project - my "Living Willow Structure".

Living Willow Structure

I'm pretty excited about this - constructed and planted back in November - it is starting to grow! First leaves are appearing and so the willow must be rooting itself in. Again - more on progress in future blog posts.Keep coming back.

Read more ......
Growing Willow

Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

Visit my website - Allotment Growing
- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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