January 2017, we took over our allotment and decided that, once we’d cleared the plot and removed all the old concrete, we would create woodchip paths with a geotextile barrier underneath to help combat weed growth.
We wanted clean and dry access around the plot, not least because it would be easier to get about on a mobility scooter. We decided on woodchip because maintenance is less than grass, and cats don’t tend to confuse it with their litter tray as they sometimes do with gravel. Another advantage is that, after the initial cost of the geotextile, woodchip can usually be sourced free of charge.
All that’s needed is a bit of effort in replacing old with new chips every now and then. Something we needed to do recently. Continue reading
With Burns Night looming, a visit to the plot to collect some potatoes was quickly becoming necessary.
We leave our crops in the ground until we want to use them. This can increase the exposure to pests and diseases but we find they just last better this way, probably because we have a well drained sandy soil.
So off to the plot on a wintry afternoon, dry but cold.
The main crop potatoes we planted were Sarpo Mira – a blight resistant variety, producing quite large tubers.
With the first indications that we’ve had frost on the allotment and colder weather forecast for the end of the week, we decided it was time to harvest our chillies. How did they do?
As explained in an earlier post, we had acquired a number of chilli seeds and decided to trial them against each other. I would like to say that we nurtured our little seeds and gave them the best growing conditions we could, but we didn’t.
For various reasons, some previously described, we got very behind with our allotmenting and were playing catch up for most of the year. Our chilli plants had to put up with late sowing and late planting out. This is as much a trial of what can look after itself as it is an exercise in what grows well in our part of the world. Continue reading
Since our last blog, we have both been fighting one of those stinky autumn colds, and unable to work on our plot. So last weekend, although it was very cold, the weather was dry enough for a wee visit to the plot. We fully expected to find everything overgrown and in a bad state.
Apart from our poor leek patch, that has been adopted by our local fox as a daytime lounge area,
Poor leeks all flattened and chewed
everything else was much better than expected. Continue reading
As well as planting potatoes directly into the soil, we grew some in potato bags that Andrew made. We wanted to compare the yields from direct- and bag-planted spuds.
Here’s how we got on:
We were intrigued when we spotted a packet of cucamelon seeds in the garden centre. But I have to admit that it was the invitation to “explore their cocktail-enhancing prowess” that really piqued our interest.