Squirrel's Garden

Blogging the highs and lows of my attempts at allotment gardening

Location: Sherwood Forest, United Kingdom

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The New Season is Now Underway

The weather has finally decided to co-0perate with those of us who like to garden. It has been very warm here in Sherwood Forest for several days now and it is a real pleasure to be able to work with the soil again. There are still lots of organisational jobs that did not get finished, the slabbed patio area needs the edging slabs cut and laid, the storage bay needs a roof and a door.
On the plus side I did get my poly tunnel up and it is great to be able to raise some of my own seedlings.

This the view through one of the doorways which shows the new plot I recently acquired as an extention to my old one. The lines of straw are my experimental potatoes. I am growing several varieties using the no dig method. We will then see which we like the taste of best and which yield best using this method.

The fruit cage I built over the winter months has had a weed suppressant membrane laid between the fruit rows, and I have just started laying wood chip over this. The plan is that I will only have to care for the trees and not worry about keeping the weeds down in that area. The poly tunnel is just visible between the right hand posts, the greenhouse on the left belongs to my neighbour.

So far I have 3 desert apples, 2 cooking apple, 1 desert pear, 1 culinary pear, 2 cherries (1 desert 1 cooking) 2 damsons, 2 plums, redcurrants, gooseberries, (both to be cordon trained) and a row of blackcurrants alongside the trolley. I am standing among the Jostaberries to take this shot. On the right hand fence (out of view) I also have posts and wires in place to train Blackberries, Tayberries, and Boysenberries. Blueberries and Cranberries are in pots and the strawberries are in the vegetable plot. I have also inherited several mature red and green gooseberry bushes that were in great need of some serious pruning work done on them. These are now responding with a very healthy looking show of new growth and some of them are begining to set fruit already.
I guess you can imagine that I like my fruit.

My partner decided to snap a few shots too and caught me filling the watering can from one of my water butts. I must admit the plot looks a serious size from this shot, especially taking into account that there is a 10 ft long poly tunnel behind this shot and a wildlife area with a shed on it behind that.
Molly, my dog is on patrol. She likes to wander around the plot to keep an eye on my progress. It's nice she can do this now I have barriers between me and the neighbours, it gives her more freedom. So far she seems to follow my paths and I hope she continues to do this.

I also have broad beans, carrots, parsnips, peas, onions, radish, shallots, garlic, lillies, sunflowers and lettuce in the ground. Some of it is under fleece though as I still don't trust the weather yet.

Under the protection of the tunnel I have cabbages, lettuce, tomatoes, leeks, runner/french/broad beans, cucumber (crystal lemon) and some mayan gold potatoes in pots. These are the first really new variety of potato to be grown in Britain for about 200 years and they say the top Chefs are raving over them, but they are not good as boiled potatoes. I can't wait to try them.


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