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(Left, Right, Left, Right, Left) Slow March

O.K. so I lost the plot for a few months along with some blogging opportunities. I never considered myself to be just a "Summer gardener" but its looking that way, with this years late start, down my plots. Actually getting back into the regular blogging routine isn't a problem, it's working out where to start my 200th blog post from, after a few months of irregular activity down my plots. Relying on my memory these days isn't the best of ideas. As I mentioned in an earlier post I have put my house up for sale and with several family birthdays between January and now I've still been busy on the domestic front.

No 1 Bed
No 1 Bed Ready For Sowing/Planting (15 March 15)
 Since the end of February the weather here has been reasonable for early Spring. Up until the beginning of last week good temperatures and lack of rain gave me several chances to visit my plots and catch up with various Spring tasks. Since then, temperatures have dropped considerably and with a full day of heavy rain last Friday, most of the beds on my plots are too damp and sticky to work on, once again.

No 2 Bed
No 2 Bed Final Weeding in Progress Before Its Rotavated (15 March 15)
 So what's been achieved so far this season. My original, wind damaged, poly tunnel has been replaced with a similar but more robust version, which has been erected at the top (northern) end of bed No 4 on N2 Plot. A couple of my water barrels have had leaks stopped and re-cycled bath taps fitted to them, in place of the inadequate plastic taps which were originally used. One of my large water tanks has also had a leak repaired and is now re-filled with rainwater, ready for the Summer heat waves to start?? Most of the Winters dead vegetation has been tidied away from the planting beds and both my compost bins, plus a recently installed plastic compost bin are full to their brims with a mixture of decaying vegetation, kitchen waste, paper and cardboard. My fruit trees, except for the plum tree, fruit bushes and 1 grapevine have been pruned back and 3 new blackberry plants, (£1.99p each from Lidls at the moment), added to No1 bed, planted alongside the northern, outside edge of the fruit cage. I have started work, installing the roof of the fruit cage. The idea of using netting was re-thought and polypropylene twine is being used instead. The twine has been threaded through the top of the  wire netting at approximately 2" intervals,  looped over the top wooden crossbars, across the roof space and then back across, tightening and tying the twine every second "run". This is a cheaper, (and should be a stronger), option than buying netting which I have a personal dislike of using anyway, as it is more likely to injure birds, rather than deterring them. No 1 bed has been fully prepared for planting, having been cleared of the few weeds on it and rotavated to a good tilth. Roots will be sown into this bed later when the air and soil temperatures rise again. No 2 bed has been well composted and most weeds removed except at its lower southern end. The top few feet of this bed was already prepped  and 3 rows of onion sets have been sown there. After the remainder of the bed has been rotavated, hopefully this coming week, it will be used for this seasons potato crop. No 3 bed still has black plastic covers over it and requires some lime added to it. Once the covers are removed lime will be rotavated into the bed and legumes will be sown later. No 4 bed still has lettuce and onions growing at the top end, the lower half having been rotavated a week ago. The soil on this bed is currently too wet to work correctly and it will have to be rotavated again before it is limed and used for growing brassicas. Bed No5 is now mainly used for growing various types of flowers with daffodils being in profusion at the moment. Broad beans are growing well at the lower end of this bed although 2 plants were damaged by earlier frosts during February. Most of this bed has been cleared of weeds and dead foliage after which it will only require a light forking over. I managed a few hours work on No 2 bed today, making a start removing weeds, mainly chickweed. Again the weather has been cold all day with a grey overcast sky and regular splashes of rain. One of those cold hands and feet days working on damp, very cold soil.

No 3 Bed
No 3 Bed Still Covered (15 March 15)
Tomato and cucumber seeds have been sown directly into the ground inside the poly tunnel recently. Several cucumber seeds sown into pots along with some cabbage and sprout seeds took only 48 hours to germinate, just over a week ago. Leeks, sweetcorn and squashes have also been sown into other pots and trays which are currently stacked in the tunnel awaiting germination. The grass comprising the paths and borders around my plots has already started to re-grow after the Winter and will soon need its first cut of the season. Most of the edging around the beds has been trimmed and tidied (in accordance with our allotment rule No 1). Where would we be without rules, in the shed enjoying a cuppa probably.

No 4 Bed
No 4 Bed Mustard Rotavated In But Too Wet To Work Yet (15 March 15)
No 5 Bed
No 5 Bed Partially Weeded Ground Reasonably Dry (15 March 15)
Drainage Ditch Bank
Drainage Ditch Bank (15 March 15)

There's Always Tomorrow!!


  1. You have done a good job! The plot looks so clean, and tidy.

    1. Thanks Endah, I like to keep things as tidy as possible, or organized as I call it. If the weeds etc are disposed of early in the year it saves time and energy when I'm planting and sowing seeds etc.


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