Hello Spring – I’m Back!

Spring is back and so am I! This year will be better and more organised than ever, as I’ve already made great progress in the last few weeks with the help of my friend, Dawson.

It was this time last year that I started this blog as a way of logging my progress, keeping track of my results and connecting with similar green-fingered folk! I loved my new blog, and the surprising response from you guys reading and commenting (thank you!), but after a few months I was so busy on the allotment that I found it difficult to make time to write about it as well. Come Autumn, the nights got earlier and earlier so I cocooned myself inside like a hedgehog awaiting Spring. I didn’t give up on the allotment, but I did feel defeated by the sheer amount of weeding, clearing and hard maintenance involved during the summer months.

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August 2016

So what’s new?

I’ve been working hard on the left side of the plot, where all my fruits grow. I removed the old, flyaway greenhouse now that the polytunnel is (still) standing proud. In it’s place I moved all the strawberry runners from last years plants to almost double the amount of plants!

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The blackcurrant bush had a lot of attention. It’s been heavily weeded to remove at the nettles that annoyingly stung me during the harvest period last year, manured the plant and even mulched with wood chip.

The rhubarb plants that I treated pretty poorly last year have been moved to their new location on fresh soil and manure that was previously covered in ivy/carpet/alloftheweeds. I’ve collected a couple of new varieties, inspired by a recent trip to Clumber Park where they hold the 2nd biggest collection of rhubarb plants (over 130 varieties!).  I added two new varieties ‘red champagne’ & ‘timperley early’, so now I can’t wait to see my jungle of rhubarb!

The next big project on the agenda is the apple tree area, a space that was previously covered with tree branches and hedge cuttings for almost a year. With Dawson’s help I burnt through the pile, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

IMG_2282.JPGIMG_1861The plan is to grow a ground cover of nasturtiums, with taller flowering cosmos flowers at the back. I’ll sow some chives directly under the apple tree as a companion plant to prevent scab disease and repel aphids and beetles. The corner will remain a wildlife area with bird feeders in the hedges and eventually a hedgehog house, with piles of leaves and logs to provide an undisturbed habitat for insects.

As Spring gets into full swing I’ll be busy with the usual seed sowing, transplanting and weeding. Dawson has kindly offered to continue to dig up the area to the right of the shed that will become the BBQ/seating area for summer. I know I said the same thing last year… It’s a stubborn area that I’ve wanted to have cleared for so long, but this year it’s going to happen!
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