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Sowing and Planting 2018

May 2, 2018

Last Autumn I failed to put the allotment to bed for the Winter.  As each bed is emptied of Summer produce my usual routine is to lift the plants that have gone to seed and to weed the ground thoroughly. The empty beds are then covered with weighty, re-usable plastic sheeting weighed down with bricks to hold it in place. Then other beds carry on for several months with rows of Swiss chard, spinach, cabbages, Brussel sprouts, Purple Sprouting broccoli, beetroot plus the leeks keeping the allotment looking good and productive.

The result of not getting round to covering some of the beds allowed couch grass and weeds to take over doubling the effort this Spring to knock it back into shape. With the very cold and wet weather, the days for gardening have been severely limited and it’s been near impossible to work the sodden soil. So a lesson has been learned and progress has finally been made in the last three weeks and I now realise there are some pluses for my tardiness.  The major one being that as each bed gets sorted all available space on these late prepared beds is now jam-packed with young plants. This in turn reduces the empty ground available for weeds,  watering will be concentrated on these full beds and moisture will be retained better due to the dense planting.

So here’s my planting thus far this year and illustrated by the produce from last year:

Purple peas are in and have started to clamber up the netting …

Courgettes and squash seedlings are planted and securely covered with hoops and fleece to protect them for a week or two.

Broad beans are in flower and should produce beans over the next three weeks  …

Onions and garlic planted in January are looking healthy…

The one huge area still unprepared and covered with tarpaulin (weeds and all) measures about 5 metres by 3 metres and is awaiting attention. The plan is to gradually unwrap it over the next six to eight weeks and to prepare the ground ready to repeat much of the produce that is now planted. I finally feel relaxed about the allotment rather than anxious and challenged and I am happy with my plan. To celebrate progress I sowed Calendula seeds saved from last year to brighten up areas between rows.

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And getting on with it entirely alone are two blackcurrant bushes (sorry not a good picture) but laden with fruit.

And a strawberry bed with several flowers of the most delightful, intense pink.

And the first of the self-seeded Aquilegia in flower were picked for the kitchen table.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucy permalink
    May 3, 2018 8:25 am

    Fab Sue! Your plan is great….its been a really challenging spring! Thank goodness for black plastic And flece!

  2. May 6, 2018 5:55 pm

    It has been a difficult spring here too. Usually I would be removing my broad beans and peas now instead we are just harvesting them! I often mulch beds not being used during the winter. I don’t do enough repeat sowing, often because it is too hot, but I would like to extend the season of some things. Your last year’s crops look delicious!

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