Sunday, November 2, 2008

Planning for next year.

We spent some time on the allotment this afternoon as it was dry and sunny. Some jobs to be tackled before we head off on holidays on thurs for a week in the sun in lanzarote.Honey came down to have a look sporting this seasons must have colour on her blanket.
This end of our plot has never been dug so we are trialing the no dig method here!We spent ages drawing wheelbarrows of manure down to completely cover the area.The next step is compost or if you have a friendly grocer or supermarket who will donate any wilted or rotten fruit and veg, to cover as much as possible.Then cover the area again with cardboard and finally cover it with the black plastic to stop the nutrients leaching away in the rain.The worms get to work drawing everything down in to the soil and breaking it up. The plan then is to remove the plastic early next year and set the seed potatoes in to this heaving mass!Years ago in Ireland potatoes were grown in lazy beds done much the same way.A bed was covered in manure and the soil from the edges put on top. The pops were set in to it and as you were earthing up the pops and then digging out them you were actually digging out the section.We Irish knew a thing or two about labour saving gardening.
Trench Composting. I pulled up the remains of the broccoli plants and a couple of slug ridden cabbages from here.I dug it over, not too hard to do as it was well dug and plenty of manure added last year. I then dug the trench and started filling it with the cabbage leaves and any of the yellowing leaves from the sprouts etc.Again a friendly grocer or supermarket might help out.The idea is to add any composting material through the winter and fill in with soil as you are going on.This method is great if you do not have a compost bin or if you think you don't have enough composting material to fill one.This bed is for beans next year, while they do not like fresh animal manure they are hungry feeders. The bed will be ready made to plant out the beans when ready. I read about this method in Jane Perrone's book, The allotment Keepers Handbook and it was also recommended by Susan Taylor when she visited us a few months ago.

3 comments:

The Tile Lady said...

Wow--I am learning so much about gardening from you, Peggy and can't wait till I can try out some of your methods. I love the labor-saving gardening idea!

Lynda said...

Peggy, I'm sure that you're looking forward to a well deserved holiday - look forward to hearing about it when you get back !

I've nominated your blog for an award - you can read about it on my blog post today :)

fiftypushing said...

Hi Peggy! You will be pleased to hear my husband and I dug up the rubbish heap in our backyard last week-end, set up an irrigation system and planted a few veggies! Not easy in the sand which is Cape Town but we shall have a go! Enjoy your holiday