Saturday, April 12

Two busy afternoons.

This week we have had two very full and busy afternoons on the plot with no time to sit and linger over coffee.

Much time has been spent generally tidying the areas which haven't been subjected to the weed control treatment and preparing beds for planting.

I cleared any weeds that were growing around the Joan J autumn fruiting raspberries.
The main problem here is trying to get as much of the bindweed out as I can - I'm not naive enough to think I will totally eradicate it. Also some off the raspberry plants have suckered too far from the main plants and have needed replanting. Ignore the edge which still needs attention.

The newly planted summer raspberries have also been tidied and the overspill strawberry bed.
Most of the plants are shooting and have been given a feed to promote some strong growth to hopefully produce a good harvest next year.

One benefit of using the weed control is that we have time to give attention to areas previously neglected - like under the buddleia and potentilla bushes growing at the end of some long beds. Martyn has started to tidy them.
He has also been rotating the weed control fabric. As holes are plant specific these are moved to accommodate the appropriate plants. The fabric is taken up and soil given a light tilling and fertiliser applied before replacing fabric. Deep digging has not been necessary as the fabric seems to have protected the soil from been pounded by the rain. There is a marked difference between areas that have been covered and those that have not.
The winter onions and garlic needed a little weeding where the ground wasn't covered with fabric and they look very promising. It's a while since we had such healthy looking onions at this time of the year. 
It was funny to move on to planting out the summer onions and shallots after having only just worked on the autumn planted ones. The plants grown in modules have grown quickly and so have been planted out earlier than usual to prevent them from becoming pot bound. Still lots more are waiting to be planted.
It was when I went into the greenhouse to get the watering can to water the plants in that I made a surprising discovery. Believe it or not someone had been into the greenhouse and stolen one of our watering cans! Nothing special just an ordinary green plastic can!

Whilst I was planting onions Martyn was planting the first of our potatoes. We are trying a new planting method this year which Martyn has posted about here.

We also planted a globe artichoke that had been rescued from a clump of couch grass and nursed back to health in a pot. One for the bees so it's planted near the fruit.
Finally I'll leave you with a photo of the prettiest area on the plot at the moment.
The pears including the one blighted last year are in blossom and the tulips open. Pity in a short while this will have all disappeared but that's gardening!

24 comments:

  1. Your tulips look in superb condition. Mine have been thrashed by wind and rain.

    Very sorry some toe-rag has nicked your watering can. I suppose there is no chance it has been genuinely borrowed by an allotment friend and just not returned yet ..... perhaps one of your 'trail cameras' needs to hide near your shed for a while?

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    1. Then I'd probably lose the camera too! Don't think it was borrowed. It's such a cheap thing to buy - just a green plastic can - that if they truly couldn't afford one I'd have given them it. It's left a nasty taste that we have someone on site who would go into a greenhouse and just take something. For all they know it could have been used for weedkiller!

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  2. The point about the weed-control fabric protecting the soil from heavy rain is worth knowing. Most people cover the soil to warm it in the Spring, but maybe they don't think about leaving it covered in the Winter. And how strange about the theft of the watering-can. I suspect one of your fellow plot-holders - who had left their watering-can at home and was desperate to do some watering! I have had a few things stolen from my shed and garden. It's never anything big or particularly valuable, but it's just frustrating to have to replace it.

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    1. It's also meant that we had few weeds to remove before the beds could be planted up. It was a surprise bonus that the soil was good underneath.

      We did have a aluminium burner - the dustbin with a chimney type stolen once, It was totally charred with the base burnt out but someone fancied it! If someone had forgotten theirs and wanted to water they were welcome to borrow ours but it would have been good for them to bring it back. As you say it isn't the value just the idea that someone in your midst would do this.

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  3. Here, we use poliethilen mulch as weed control and also keep the soil humidiy and protect from the soil erotion. But on our climate, poliethilen only stand out for about a year. Over all, you have do a good job.

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    1. The weed control fabric that we use lets moisture through, Endah

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  4. Still very tempted with the weed control Sue...Maybe I will think about it for next year. What I would really like is just one completes sheet to cover the whole area....what bliss that would be....something to look into I think!!

    Anyway, looks like you have everything in hand...I still need to get my potatoes in...I'm not worried though...still plenty of time for them to grow!!

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    1. We are working at covering most of the plot Tanya but there are parts such as the pear bed where I want to underplant with flowers that will be left without. The problem though with just one complete sheet though would be you couldn't rotate and of course an even larger stumbling block is that they don't produce such large sheets :) My dream is a controlled weather biome!

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  5. As ever you are a step ahead of the game. Just planted my first earlies today. My brassica patch is getting the "Weed Control Fabric" treatment this year using the 18 inch spacing rule. That piece will follow the rotation. If I've any over it's a toss up between the soft fruit and the cucurbits.

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    1. It works well for both, Mal. More of a permanent fixture ropund fruit bushes

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  6. That's a really pretty spot. Your shallots and onions are looking fantastic, they must be liking all of this mild weather. I can see you've been working hard, it's nice to get on top of things at this time of year - I always tend to start feeling a bit panicky right about now. It's all of those little plants needing attention. Once everything is planted out into the soil I calm down a bit.

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    1. The shallots have only just gone out CJ as they started life in modules but the onions and garlic have been out since autumn so I am hopeful for a good crop this year.

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  7. It seems your weed control fabric is beginning to prove its worth saving you a lot of time and effort weeding etc. It's all looking pretty good.

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    1. It is, Elaine and time saved can be put to really good use.

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  8. Hi Sue,I thought that I'd be plagued with bindweed (and thistles) on my newly emerged plot in 2012 but I cut the stems with a knife an inch or so below the surface and after a bit it appears to have mostly eradicated them.Could probably do the same thing by using a hoe?
    So much more effective than trying to get the whole root out which only seems to spread the weeds even more?
    All of your alliums are looking good!

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    1. The trouble with the bindweed, David is that it is growing entangled in other plants with no space to hoe. Where it is growing worse there is some growing close to our plot which is probably seeding more as I get rid of it and lots of the roots are not really deep but spreading about. I do use the hoe a lot though where I can.

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  9. I am jealous! I would give anything to be gardening right now. It is snowing again. I did get to cut the dead tops off of my asparagus yesterday. Everything looks great.

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    1. Oh what a shame that the snow is still plaguing you, Bonnie!

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  10. They just took a plastic can? Lool..guess somebody needed a can really badly. You did wonderful job with your garden. Beautiful tulips. Mine have all disappeared.

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    1. Unbelievable isn't it, Leanan? We still have some tulips in bud in the garden.

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  11. Those tulips are so pretty along with the fruit blossom. Your onions do look wonderful. I'm always amazed at the size of your plot. You do so well keeping it all under control.xxx

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    1. The weed control is helping us deal with areas that were neglected in the past Snowbird.

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  12. Those tulips are so pretty! How I wish to have them here! Your vegetables look great ! So sorry to hear about your water can...

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    1. I guess that your climate is too hot for them

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