So, the allotment is still there…
I had slightly tweaked my back shifting some furniture so hadn’t managed to get to the allotment for a month or so – I drove over there today with a boot full of compost and some very good intentions.
A clear, bright and mild December day lifted the spirits and connected me back into the Earth. It all looked very much the same but actually less work to do, given the recent cold and frosty weather, meaning fewer weeds and very limited grass growth.
Still a few pests hanging around though – fair play, it can have the last bit of the cabbage!
The compost was duly dumped and spread out, with a good helping of ash from our wood-burner. Ash from wood is a great source of potassium, which regulates plants’ water balance (so tissue is firm and juicy), and has a part in transporting food within the plant and creating sugars and starches. Without enough, vegetables are more vulnerable to drought, frost, pests and diseases.
The ash will create a more alkaline soil, but peas, beans, fruit and most root vegetables will do well with some extra ash. The area where i’ve just spread the ash was just used for growing all the potatoes and this season will be the main pea and bean growing area, to rotate the crops and improve the soil.
The other thing was the very healthy looking rainbow chard and spinach – the toughest boys on the plot! A good clump of that was harvested and eaten an hour later for lunch – very nice and full of iron.
I also spread out a blue tarpaulin over the central part of the plot, which will be another useful growing space for the coming season.