Tuesday, April 22

More plotting

Another full afternoon on the plot on Easter Monday saw more progress punctuated by chats with fellow plot tenants and the odd cup of coffee.

We usually have a list of tasks that we want to complete on our plot visits and anything else that we managed to fit in is a bonus.

My number one task was to plant out some cabbage and calabrese. After our club root disaster the plants were bought in to plug the gap and hopefully give us a crop before any seed raised plants would. It's always a bit of a gamble buying brassica plants as this can be a source of club root contamination but hopefully buying from a reputable company minimises the risk. One way of supporting plants so they can have a chance against club root infection is to grow the young plants on in pots so they develop a good root system before planting. The plants were now at a stage though when they had to go out in open ground and fend for themselves. Martyn has posted more about the brassica plants here.

The bed had previously been prepared and the appropriate piece of weed control fabric put in place. Whilst the brassicas were being planted deeply and firmed in, I am sure countless little eyes were watching from the telegraph wires and the occasional white butterfly flew past to inspect a possible site for egg laying.

I was, however one step ahead and once planted and plants watered in, the bed was covered with butterfly and pigeon proof netting. Any holes resulting from repeated use were tied up as some determined creature would no doubt use any large hole as an access point.
Whilst I was on planting duty, Martyn was tasked with sowing. He had already prepared the bed for carrots and parsnips. On our last visit, the channels in which the seeds were to be sown had been filled with compost and well watered. The compost was watered again and then seeds sown. Once sown, to keep carrot fly at bay, the bed was covered with enviromesh. The mesh will only be removed if it really has to be. The weed control fabric should cut weeding down to a minimum which will also mean the roots of young seedling are disturbed less. We don't thin out the carrots allowing them to shoulder one another aside. This also cuts down on root disturbance and the need to remove the mesh. At the early stages the compost will need to be regularly watered through the mesh by either us or nature.
Although the parsnips don't really need to be covered the excess mesh has been laid across the area where the seeds have been sown. Hopefully this will cut down on 'divets' made by paw prints or foraging birds.

Martyn also sown some Carouby de Maussane mangetout. These are a purple flowered variety which we have grown in the past. Previously we have raised them in pots but have found direct sowing seems to work better for us. We will see. These are tall growing plants and so hazel branches will be put in place once the seeds start to germinate.


One disappointing situation on our site is that plots that have been vacated this year still appear not to have been allocated. Does this mean there are no applicants for plots on our site? I don't know, but I do know that previously well kept plots are becoming overgrown in the interim and the chance for planting up for this season is slipping by.

If you live in Wakefield and are either on a waiting list or would like a plot it may be worth contacting the council here. You don't need to live in Horbury to take on a plot at Green Lane.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

25 comments:

  1. I bet those carrots will be getting a good water today, the rain will save you a job, you've got to look on the bright side.

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    1. It will, indeed, Jo - every cloud and all that!

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  2. Sounds like a productive day. I have thought about getting the enviromesh but was doubtful about the cost. des it stand the test of time and is it worth the money??

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    1. Our mesh is in its 5th year and maybe should have had a jet wash this year, Tanya. We think it is worth the money.

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  3. Shame about the other plots going to waste, if I could get a small allotment plot within walking distance I would be happy (within 20 mins walk) & you are too far away. You have been really busy though, I'm not doing brassicas for the summer but I have started sowing for the winter crop.

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    1. A case of making hay whilst the sun shone, Joanne. I do hope that the vacant plots are allocated soon.

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  4. I love it how you can garden anytime you want. Butterfly netting? I had no idea butterflies eat cabbages. Our butterflies are very polite and never eat my vegetables.

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    1. The white butterflies lay eggs on the leaves of brassicas, Leanan and the caterpillars devastate them. I have a film of them on my website
      here if you are interested

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  5. The situation on your plot is just like mine, but in much bigger scale. Have you ever had Parsnips attacked by Carrot Root Fly? They are allegedly susceptible, as is Celery. I find that Parsnips and Celery are more likely to suffer from Leaf-Miners, though these seldom do significant damage.
    Like you, I always start my brassicas off in small pots, mainly because it is easier to protect them from weather and pests until they are big enough to fend for themselves. I have just ordered some nematodes too, since they have worked well for me the last two years.

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    1. We've never had a problem with carrot fly on parsnips, Mark .Celery has just been a problem full stop but nothing to do with carrot fly. I'm afraid we'd need a tractor load of nematodes to have any effect on the plot and in the garden we tend to suffer more from snails which living above ground aren't affected by nematodes.

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  6. Looks like some good progress with your plot this season Sue. Like your allotments we've had quite a few vacated this year too, but most have been re-let.

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    1. I don't understand it Rooko - the council say they have a long waiting list but then plots are vacant at a time when they should be being worked on.

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  7. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!Visite-me:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

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  8. You have keep your vegetables very well. I'm sure it will less bugs on your veg plots

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    1. The battle with the bugs is always one that we strive to win, Endah

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  9. I love the aerial shot. What a shame about the overgrown plots. I spotted several at our site on Saturday, it's frustrating to see them getting weedier and weedier when someone would no doubt love to be tending them. Where's the lady with the clipboard when you need her?! It's all looking good down on your plot. I nearly bought some purple mangetout seeds the other day but I think I'm running out of space so I restrained myself.

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    1. The council know about the plots CJ as people have given their noticed and freed them. I really don;t know why they don;t allocate as it isn't as if it is a difficult job if there is a waiting list.

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  10. The google map aerial view is quite interesting! You sure have been busy over Easter!

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    1. We have, Kelli but lots more to do yet.

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  11. I must say I'm surprised the vacant plots haven't been taken up, the queue's here are long.
    You remind me here to go and cover the broccoli....it's all going swimmingly well at the plot, I'm always struck by the sheer size of it! I sowed parsnips weeks ago and not a one has come up....I'll have to get more seeds.xxx

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    1. So are we, Snowbird but is it lack of interest by the council or prospective plotters?

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    2. To add maybe the soil was too cold when you sowed the parsnips.

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  12. Very organised! I have pensioned off my brassica netting as I am giving up on them, although I am currently enjoying the very late spears from the three purple sprouting broccoli plants that survived slugs, cabbage white larvae and the rest. Such a shame about the empty allotments, wonder why they haven't been allocated. Or is nobody interested. Maybe they are too busy watching that allotment challenge programme...

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    1. The TV is probably as near to allotment gardening as the council officers get, Janet,

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