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Apr 16 2009

Posted By: Paul 08/05/2009 07:22:00

I hope you have had a great Easter break, mine was quiet with plenty of opportunity to get out in the garden and on the allotment.

So much so in fact I have actually caught up with all the tasks I had to do, and found myself looking for other jobs. I ended up drinking my cup of tea and watching other people beavering away on their allotments with a smug, self satisfied grin on my face.

This is the start of the second year on this plot and one year ago I thought I was never going to get rid of the weeds, but by taking my time and working on small sections at a time I have finally got there. I have one bed on the allotment reserved for Squashes and Courgette's this year, which was the bed I covered in cardboard and then a layer of manure to about 8 inches in depth. By November I was able to fork the plot over and there was no sign of the cardboard, or any of the weeds I have covered over. Also when I forked it over again last week I noticed a huge amount of earth worms in the soil compared to the other beds.

One of the allotments which was taken over at the same time as mine, was rotivated by the new owner, but most of the weeds where turned over and not removed. At the time when they where rotivating the plot I have to say the thought of spending an hour or so using the machine to do the work did seem quiet appealing, especially when I was faced with almost a years worth of work to clear my plot. Now I can see my efforts have paid off as their whole plot is now covered in a carpet of you Dandelion's.

On my allotment this year I have planted the following. Starting from the southern end. The first third is full of Potatoes for the whole width off the plot. Next I have divided the plot down the middle and on the East side there are six rows of Broad beans, then and empty bed of about 18 rows in length awaiting the Courgette's and Squashes. Lastly on the East side I have a compost bin with Horseradish between it and the fence and a bed of Comfrey on the other side. On the West side I have one row of Beetroot, 3 rows of Turnips, four rows of Summer Cabbage, one row of Celery, four rows of Cauliflowers, 8 rows of Onions & Carrots. It sounds like quite a lot of stuff now I have it written down but there's not enough to live off.

In the garden at home the raised bed is sown with Lettuce, Rocket, Spinach, Spring Onions, and Radish. With pots of Runner Beans, Peas, and Herbs also sitting under the polythene cover. I sow up to eight rows of each salad crop, one row at a time with about a week apart. As they mature in six-eight weeks I have started to eat the first salad before I have sown the last rows. The final rows should keep me in salad into mid-September with any luck. As I use the rows of salad leaves I will be sowing in their place rows of Chicory and Radicchio, which in turn will then mature from mid-September to December. Well that's the plan anyway, if everything goes well this year there should be plenty of greens to keep us gowning, and if not we'll all have scurvy but next February.

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