Monday, 7 January 2013

The first visit of the new year……

IMG_0790It’s been a while since my last visit to the allotment, about 4 weeks to be exact, I went on a scouting mission today to see how bad the soil is and boy its bad, my allotment site is on a slight hill and I am at the bottom of it so all the water runs right down to my plot, good if we are in a bit of a dry spell I don’t need to water as much, bad if it’s done nothing but rain for 4 weeks. Working on the soil was a non-starter so I did a few other jobs that needed doing around the plot.
Firstly I covered over the Purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) as it had been attacked by the pigeons, most of the leaves had been stripped but the precious heads of broccoli are still intact so I swiftly covered them with netting, last year my PSB was a complete disaster completely covered in white fly and I planted them far too close together. This year I have given them plenty of room and picked out the bottom large leaves to allow air to circulate and I think (fingers crossed) I am going to get a good crop.
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IMG_0783I also dug up one of the best crops I have grown to date on the plot…. my parsnips, I used some great advice from sue over at our plot at Green lane allotments. She told me to dig the soil over and rake it as fine as I can get it then add a layer of multi-purpose compost as I could not get the soil fine enough to sow direct on my clay soil. I did this and they have been amazing I had nearly 90% plus germination from my parsnips and they tasted so sweet and they were the talk of the table on Christmas day so thanks for the advice sue. I also put down more bark on the paths on the plot as it was starting to get a bit thin in places and    weeds were starting to poke through, it made such a difference to the place made it look a lot tidier! I didn’t do anything to my January kings(cabbages) today they look a little messy but the cabbages themselves are in good shape, just can’t get on the soil to tidy up cause if I step foot in the beds I am liable to lose my welly! I am planning on another visit this week as I need to prune my raspberry bushes ready for the new season but that will have to wait now…..