Monday, April 23

Second visit in two days - WOW!

Despite a poor forecast, the weather on Saturady allowed us to put in another good afternoon's work on the plot.
Unusually for us, Martyn and I both spent time concentrating on one area of the plot. (We are usually out of sight of one another). Martyn was mainly kept busy tilling the beds so that we could plant out another batch of potatoes and preparing the area that will become our second strawberry patch.
My first task was to weed the existing strawberry bed which I had earmarked as a big priority after Friday's plot visit. I want to try to keep up with weeding this bed so that I don't end up with strawberry plants smothered by weeds as happened in the old beds. After weeding I sprinkled blood, fish and bone around the plants and gave the whole area a really good hoe. The bed now looks presentable!
As you can see most of the plants are growing well and so I am left with lots of new plants in the cold frame. These were taken from last year's runners and were intended to take the place of any winter casualities. Typically with a back-up plan in place winter wasn't as destructive as it could have been. The solution will be to plant up another bed. Martyn has tilled this bed in readiness.
The plants in the above photo are alpine strawberries. I haven't decided whether to move these or not but I doubt the bed will hold all the waiting plants unless I put them much nearer together than is ideal. This bed is on the edge of our plot - the other neat beds belong to our plot neighbours - Jo and Pat.

You may remember that a couple of the fruit beds were also becoming very weedy and so I had tidied those up too and also added some fish, blood and bone fertiliser. These beds are on either side of the strawberry bed.
You can see the edges where my new lavender cuttings will be planted - I may need to take more!
We also managed to plant more potatoes so almost all the potatoes are underground. We have certainly speeded up our potato planting since we rejected the trench method. Now it's a case of just digging a hole as deep as possible with a trowel and popping the tuber in. The soil is earthed up over the newly planted row. Our method is described on this page of my website.

Martyn has posted a photo on his blog here and written more about the varieties of potatoes planted. He has also 'very kindly' showcased the photo that I took of our most weedy area. Well maybe not the most weedy as other areas are just as bad - if not worse! Happy Days!

PS:
Don't forget to enter the Herb and Spice Seed book competition. Just to encourage you it could well be that no-one has so far correctly identified every herb so don't put off entering because you can't answer ALL the questions. You could still win!






21 comments:

  1. Your allotment is looking really good, so neat and tidy. how long do you keep the strawberry plants until you replace them please? x

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    1. We planted the original beds in 2007, Fran and last year 2011 we left them in place but they hardly produced any strawberries. The fact that they were clogged up with couch grass etc won't have helped. In effect last year would have been their fourth year. So the advice to replant every three years seems sound.

      It's only really parts of it that look as neat as this!

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  2. Such a neat allotment! Strawberries in a rows....!
    Hope you have hand full of harvest!
    I like the idea of having lavender for edges!

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    1. I did well space the strawberries so I could weed easily, Malar - maybe the overspill bed will have them planted closer together.

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  3. your soil looks amasing, all that hard work paid off. i am hoping to get down the plot today too for an hour or so and it will be twice in 2 days for me too :-)

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    1. This bit was at its best at the moment, Stacy - not too wet nor too dry and always looks good just after tilling. It doesn't always look as good!

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  4. I'd forgotten about the herbs - must take another look. Your strawberry bed looks imaculate - nice work.

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    1. I wonder how long it will remain weed free, Liz. They return so quickly don't they?

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  5. I didn't manage to get to the allotment this weekend, a combination of bad weather and other commitments. It's still raining here now. I also need to get a second strawberry bed sorted out, I bought some bargain plants from Aldi, you can never have too many strawberries. Your plants from last year look to be thriving, very healthy looking.

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    1. It's rained most of today here too, Jo so we were lucky to get in the two days over last week

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  6. I don't think I can keep up with weeding next month. Can't wait to see your strawberry harvest. I am hoping for some alpine strawberry volunteers this winter since most perished in summer.

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    1. No I would imaging bending down is becoming difficult, Diana.

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  7. good golly - so neat and tidy, tell me please that it's only for the photos and you are normal and messy like everyone else!!!
    We are strawberry~less this year :( but we have secret plans xxxxx

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    1. Put your mind at rest Carrie - these are the bits we have just tidied up - if you go visit Martyn's post here It will make you happy!

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  8. Wow you got a lot done in two trips! Those beds look tilled to perfection, and I love the lavender borders. Don't look too closely at my plot, it looks shambolic in comparison!

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    1. There were two of us FRG and we both spent two full afternoons. If we had been digging potato trenches we wouldn't have got so far!

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  9. Glad you managed to get some more time down the allotment....I just hope that weather comes my way. I still have a few potatoes to get in the ground and I'm not so worried about it now I know you haven't planted all yours!!

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  10. I read recently Tanya that you can plant potatoes in containers into may so I don't see why you can't in open ground - it's just more likely that they will be cut back by blight!

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  11. Your allotment is looking absoulutely fantastic!!

    Those strawberry plants look vigorously healthy!!

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    1. Just hope that they go on to produce lots of strawberries, Martin

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  12. Now you're making me feel guilty, I have a strawberry bed which needs similar ministrations :}

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