Monday 5 January 2009

One last time during the holidays

Crop updates, preparing for spring

I have been one last time to the allotment, in between frosts and before going back to work. Timing was really good as the weather seems to be getting colder and colder, although the days are finally growing in lenght again (we are now in that phase in which sunrise is a minute earlier every couple or so days in the morning and a minute + later every day in the evening).

The cropping is not too bad: I am still on a steady supply of leeks (although the big ones are running out) and I picked spinach beet and parsley. Still no sign of mushroom, but I decided to give it another go and planted some more spores. The salad sprouts look healthy, even though they are taking a long time to grow.

Although it stills is very much digging and weeding work (and slightly boring by now), somehow I seem to have reached the winter turning point and everything I do feels linked to spring and the growing season rather than to wilting and the winter gloom!

Having read a bit more about potatoes (as last year mine was very much a tentative approach to tubers cultivation), I worked out I needed to act straight away, so I have piled up a line of manure and covered it with fleece so that the soil won't be frozen when my earlies (Orla and Red Duke of York) chit, and I can plant them straight away.

Still need to finish clearing around the pond, but I have bought some daffodils on sale to plant when I do (hopefully next weekend). That way, I should have a spring flowering while waiting for the meadow and wildflowers seed mixes to grow. I bought compost for seed planting and fertilizers (both on sale), and some coldframes to start planting early on. And I sent in my request for organic seeds to the Heritage Seed Library.

Yesterday I also sketched a final draft of next year's beds layout and I am pretty happy. It seems that I have more potatoes and beans seeds than room to plant them in, so I will have to dig at least one more bed in my lawn at the top but then I should be fine. And I want a screen of sunflowers at the bottom of the plot (where the shared water pump is).

I am wondering whether I should order some more manure if that is possible... anyway, today I am feeling really excited about my gardening- maybe because the sun is coming out of the clouds again - look soooo forward to spring!

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