Saturday 18 October 2008

Autumn tidying up

Autumn tidy-up, crop updates, what I will be planting next.

This afternoon I have been to the allotment after more than 10 days. Everybody is tidying up and digging in manure. It is really nice to see everything neat and tidy after the summer wilderness. The plot to my right - which had been overgrowing for a while - is also looking much better: there are obvious signs of activity, so I guess I've got a new neighbour.

I myself have sorted the polythene sheets and pallets that were lying around, pruned another little bit of the plants behind the shed (it feels much airier now!) and mowed the lawn. Also, I moved one of the waterbutts behind the greenhouse where it is shadier, and therefore less suitable for growing anything. Later on, I will have to arrange for my fig - which is planted in the sunny spot in front of the greenhouse - to grow around it somehow.

Another task that I started was clearing up a spent crop bed: while doing that i was thinking that the battle against weeds is really endless and extenuating, made me wonder whether we got it all wrong and instead of working against nature we should work with it. A while ago I read "Threading Lightly" by E. Sveiby about the Australian aboriginals' way of living and learning, and I must say that their farming and fishing methods as described in the book - although sounding too good and effortless to be true - I find really appealing.

Anyway, back to my allotment, I picked another handful of French beans, the last tomatoes and courgettes and some corn cobs (not sure yet they are ready, but will try them anyway). Borlotti beans and pumpkins are doing fine, and so are leeks and green manure.

In a couple of weeks I will be planting broad beans for next spring. Because of the good results I had this year, I have chosen again Aquadulce Claudia (I changed supplier though). I could have done with a longer season, though, so I will be trying a spring planting type as well, which is called Express.

I am still waiting for my garlic and onion sets to arrive: I have gone for garlic Albigesian Wight (I was not very pleased with last year's Lautrec Wight), and onions Shakespeare and Corrado. Plus I have some left from last year, I will try and plant those as well.

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