Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 14.5 hrs He: 11.5hrs

It's a dull drizzley day today, but perfect for me - so we spent three and a half hours up the allotment - although the plan was to spend just two.
This bed was 'rested' last  year and the year before, and I covered it up for winter.

Today we took all the covering off - it looked awful I know but needs must, and it was better than leaving to grown perennial weeds - like Dock Weed etc.
Once uncovered the soil was dark and wet - which was a lovely surprise, and after weeding around the edges - and a few odd places - mainly stinging nettle, and dandelion roots - I ran the rotorvator over it.
Several times in fact - and it looks like black gold!

I tackled about three quarters of the bed - the rest can wait until I put the rest of the potatoes in.

 Mr Lottie helped my digging out a new edge for the bed that side.
And after I had planted up the first row with the Pentland Javelin potatoes (22 in that row)
Mr Lottie dug out the second row for me.  We had 35 potatoes so only needed a short row next.

I went and filled up another wheel barrow full of this lovely rich compost.  It's three years old and very well rotted.  It's a mixture of grass cuttings, chicken Hemcore bedding, and some horse manure.  Layer upon layer.  I never thought I could get excited by composting - but the result is not smelly or wet but nice and light and rich.  I layered the trenches rows with newspaper first, then filled them with the above and pushed the potatoes in 12 inches apart.  Then raked over the soil.

 No one has made a start on the rest of the plot that I gave up.  There wasn't a weed in sight last October - but now they getting plentiful.  The rabbits have been having a field day and  burrowing in the beds.   For that reason I have decided to put up a temporary fence with the hope that it might deter them from my potato bed!
The one and a half rows of potatoes are now planted.  Why are they covered up?  Why have I covered over the nice rotorvated bed again?

Three reasons, rabbits, weeds, and frost - I hope to protect the potatoes I have planted, keeping them warm, protect any growth from frost, deter the rabbits, and slow down the weed growth.

The comfrey is making an appearance - it's brilliant as a green manure.
My next project is to either finish off the rest of this bed - depending on the weather.
And/or dig out a deep trough for my climbing beans and fill it with another bin full of the lovely compost I have made.

Thanks for visiting.

2012 Egg total: 21


  1. I'm glad your banties are still laying despite the turbulant weather. Only one of ours is laying an odd egg and one of the hybrids is having a free ride at the moment! :0)

    Your soil looks fantastic, ours looks so crumbly and dry on top but when you scrape back the top it is actually pretty good underneath.

    I've got some Pentland Javelin too but I think I'm going to hold off for another week or two and I'll be traditional and wait until Good Friday for the maincrop - Maris Piper.

    Lovely post as always!

    Martin :0)

  2. Thanks Martin. When I first took over this three quarters of a plot, apart from all the junk on it, weeds so tall that I never even knew there was the pig shed on it- it was covered with elderberry trees.

    The soil was so hard that I had to take a pick axe to it - it hadn't been used for years. It took me years to get it all atraight and skips full of pig manure from the farm and latterly horse manure since the pig farm closed. I have put tons of it on - without exaggeration.

    I have given up almost two thirds of the plot now - old age and illnesses - but it's easier to manage, and as you have seen from the photos the soil is now gorgeous

    Thank you so much for visiting


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