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Allotment Tidy Up

October 18, 2017

The nasturtiums and marigolds still look glorious across most of the allotment and I am reluctant to clear them away.

But there’s always a slight urgency to get ahead at this time of year so to keep on top of things new paths have been laid. The allotment shop sells a weed suppressing membrane and with a huge and enticing mountain of wood chip on site no time was wasted. We cut the membrane to 50 cm width and tipped on barrow loads of wood chip spraying with water to hold it in place in the event of hurricane force winds. It has given me a larger bed- always a good thing-and this week the remainders of the grass path has been forked out along the 5 metre edge. The grass was laid face down to decompose in the compost bin (secondhand for a fiver in the allotment shop) and installed half way along the plot to save time and energy. The three other bins are metres away behind the poly tunnel and are now full to bursting and will be left till Spring before turning.

In the shed I rolled all the individual nets and plastic sheets into neat bundles secured with rubber bands to store till they are needed. My tendency throughout the growing season is to lob them to the back till required but it’s not fair on Colin who shares the shed. I brought back all the plastic pots and trays since most propagating is done at home.

Weeding the strawberries and preparing the bed to take new raspberry canes was another job ticked off. The blackcurrant bushes are in the next bed and the new plan is to keep all the fruit in one area by removing the grass path between the two (more planting space yippee). A couple of old floorboards can be moved around to provide planks for picking and planting. This re-design involved cropping the last of the sunflowers ‘Velvet Queen’ growing with Dahlia ‘Magenta Star’. These single flower dahlias are fantastic for pollinators with all their reproductive bits on show ready for bees, butterflies and other insects to access pollen and nectar. They have a reasonable long vase life and the buds open in water.

 The dahlia tubers are now lifted to over winter in the garden shed in compost in a polystyrene box for extra frost proofing.

Santolina pinnata ‘Sulphurea’ is a favourite low-growing evergreen shrub that needed cutting back to keep it compact. The cuttings were trimmed and the ends dipped in hormone rooting powder and they are just showing enough green growth to pot on into individual 9 cm pots. They will be over wintered in the cold frame ready for planting next May…

The half-standard holly tree is full of luscious red berries but not for long. As I approached to take the photo a fat pigeon shot out of the branches like a self-powered war plane.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2017 4:27 pm

    Busy, busy, busy!!! Well done, sounds like you’ve got everything sorted.

  2. October 18, 2017 4:37 pm

    I think I’m an approval seeker and my husband points out that there’s a new site rep…

  3. October 18, 2017 7:01 pm

    Chipping is so useful when you can get it, so I can see why you were full steam ahead on that task as quickly as possible. Your ‘Velvet Queen’ sunflower looks fairly pink. Is that usual?

  4. October 18, 2017 8:31 pm

    Yes you have to be quick with these freebies. The sunflowers are more a deepish red but changing through the season and then dependant on the light in the kitchen.

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