Squirrel's Garden

Blogging the highs and lows of my attempts at allotment gardening

Location: Sherwood Forest, United Kingdom

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2007 Progress so Far

Well it’s been all go down at the allotment this last two months. The weather has been very strange this year. April was so hot and dry it was like an old fashioned ‘flaming June’ and May began its journey so cold and wet I could swear it had an identity crisis and thought it was to behave like ‘February fill dyke’ Even some of the crops seem confused by the weather

I had to jiggle my plans a little as 3 teenagers asked me it would be possible for them to do the skill part of their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award on the site as they would like to learn how to grow fruit and vegetables. After clearing it with the committee I gave them 2 8ft x 4ft beds each to prepare, plant and care for.
Here is a picture of their results so far. This is one of the beds with beetroot, garlic, onions, turnip, radish, parsnip, lettuce and peas. They will grow their tomatoes ad outdoor cucumber in grow bags.

I also acquired some old car tyres for them to grow some potatoes in.

I am growing my own potatoes on top of the ground, under straw. It has been a bit of a headache getting enough straw for my needs as the small bales seemed to sell out very fast this year and I had underestimated just how much I would need. This is the second earlies bed
In the end I had the good fortune of being able to buy half of a large bale that had split open on a local farm. It weighed in at over 180 Kg (just over 3.5 hundredweight to those of my generation) Now I am rounding up as many grass cuttings as I can to cover the straw as the potatoes come through and exclude the light. If this works I will only have to roll back the blanket of straw and grass to gather my crop.

It will save me digging but at the moment it does seem very labour intensive and it is stressful trying to get enough grass cuttings at the right time, which is when the tops push through their second layer of straw. I am going to try to alleviate the problem by laying black membrane along the sides of the straw heaps so the grass will go further. So far they seem to be growing more slowly than those on the site that are in the ground. I hope I won’t be deprived of my lovely new season potatoes this year.

Just in case it doesn’t work I have planted most of my main crop in the traditional manner.
The orchard seems to be developing nicely too but there won’t be much fruit this year as they are all young trees. However the redcurrants seem to be trying to put on a good show. There are loads of bunches forming nicely. I must get them netted as the birds enjoyed what little they produced last year.


Blogger Matron said...

My potatoes are fantastic this year! you should have plenty however you grow them. I plant a few tubers in a black plastic dustbin, then mulch them up right to the top. They just don't stop growing!

7:07 am  

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