On The Plots This Week:
The weather is so wildly unpredictable it is difficult to plan ahead with work on the plots, so I just have a jobs list to work my way down, as and when
I can be there and not freeze solid. That wind has been icy, the first week of meteorological Spring or not
I have done a few bits though, such as fixing up the wire fence to repair a small hole before it gets big enough to admit a rabbit, weeding the
second Autumn-sown Onion bed on #145 , as well as making in-roads into compost bin No 1. Several barrowsful are now piled on the end of the bed where climbing beans will be grown. I cannot yet spread it properly as there are still some savoy cabbages growing
in it, but they will be eaten in plenty of time for full prep of that bed. The nearby rose bed is now clear of unwanted Japanese Anemone runners, and the Chives along the front, which were struggling through some dead nettle, as now free to stand up straight...
and then a 3cm mulch of compost has been added which will do them all good. I plan to fill the space around the roses with Chives, as they do grow well together. It will also mean I have plenty of Chives to snip for leaves, without over-cropping any single
I have also thickly mulched around the Rhubarb plants while the ground and good and wet, leaving the crowns free, as they do not thrive if covered. I hope this means the plants are better able to stand any possible droughts this Summer, as the
last two years have been hard on them
Plenty of compost left, so I have re-covered it so it both stays dampy but also will not get washed away in any downpours. The beds most in need are the Dahlia bed and the funny shaped flower bed near the top end
of the tunnels, so weeding them and barrowing compost over is next on the list
Another not-very-exciting-but-essential job every year is working out which beds need to be covered against pests, with which type of net and how these will be supported.
As this year I aim to cover the beds where Oniosn are growing, and then a little later also the Leeks to try to avoid damage from Onion Fly and Allium Leaf Miner, a serious stock take was needed, followed by ordering some extra fine netting, which should arrive
in a week or two. I usually support this with hoops of blue water pipe in true allotment style, so counting up how many are needed for these extra frou beds to cover took a whiel. Quite a relaxing job in this afernoon's sunshine though. In the end i have enough
hoops, but not enough stakes to hold them up straight, so I shall be off to the shop in the morning
The Brassica beds need butterfly-proof netting, at least one bed with a tall enough cover for the Purple Sprouting Broccoli to grow up straight. Frames
all available, but some netting has rips in it, which I have attempted to repair for the past four years, so that is on my shopping list too.
Fruit and Blueberry cage and Strawberry table netting is all OK and supports in place already as they are faurly
As I said, not very exciting, but essential to get sorted before it is needed, and one I can highly recommend before sowing and planting really takes off