Allotment · Uncategorized

Hops, skip and a jump

The plot is starting to turn in for the winter. All i have left growing are sweetcorn and leeks. The corn tastes great but pollination was a bit scatty so not the best crops. However the traumatised leeks have done ok despite starting with 50 seedlings and being left with 6. This is why i don’t want children.

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Now i turn my attention to all the other jobs required for next spring to be easier than this year. My goodness it was hard work in Feb with weeds/grass/clay soil so i want to start off on the best foot this time.

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I happen to be friendly with a few local breweries (shout out to Arbor)so managed to score a delivery of hops to the site, 20 bags to be exact. They smell great in my opinion, like vinegary beer and will be used as a both a weed suppressant and soil aerator. The plan is to cover the ground in a thick carpet of them, cover with black plastic and let nature do its thing. Then, by March i can dig over the whole plot and try and do better with the weeding this time. Starting from scratch seems the cleverest option as this year was so haphazard and unplanned despite my best intentions.

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I will write up a better “here’s what i learned” when i have officially finished the odd jobs. My fencing still need to go in, my raised beds need either chucking, fixing or saving and i have a ton of crap to burn come October. I want to build a new composting area as my bin has been taken over by brambles and bindweed. Composting needs to be taken far more seriously next year.

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I also need to watch my step as a family of voles was discovered under some plastic in a well trodden area, i was mortified i might have stepped on and killed these tiny babies so uncovered them and used an upturned bucket to mark where they are. I hope they’re surviving. I do try and live in relative harmony with the other critters in the area and have purchased a pond base to start a home for toads (slug eaters) and other water loving creatures. More digging ahead for me then.

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I have all day Saturday to make a start on these things so hopefully i will manage to make a dent, a bit weather dependent however.

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