Monday, 28 September 2009

Compost change

Autumn jobs are usually hard work only broken up by harvesting various crops.

Where I think I have gone wrong in the previous two seasons is not to get on with the autumn digging. There are several areas that I want to dig before the ground freezes. Last weekend I dug over the areas where my potatoes had been. I want to put this area into immediate use for garlic and radar onions.

One of the jobs that I wanted to do immediately was move both my darlek compost bins. I have decided to move them to the spot where the nettles are on the edge of the really wild area. It makes sense as we will be using the patch more effectively. The problem with this is that one of them was really full. After tipping it over I got to see the quality of the compost. Initially I was a little disappointed. After clearing some of the unrotted debris I found dark rich compost. There was lots of it. I had the dilemma of what to do with it, as I have no wheelbarrow.

Thinking on my feet I have spread it out as a mulch on the area where the bins were as this area I want to make into a new bed as it gets sun for longer than some of the other areas. I sprinkled bran on the top just to give the slugs a surprise if they go for it as a warm winter hideout. I went back this evening and covered the area with some ground cover fabric.

I must now restart my chicken poo supply from the neighbour as I think this really made a difference to the speed and quality of the compost.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Just to prove that I have been busy on the photography front, here is a photogram of a bean pod (borlotti bean I think)

It was done in a darkroom (the green colour has been added in photoshop afterwards)

One hour

One hour, really it is not enough time. If you are me, you do just have to catch what you can, when you can and when you are in the mood and just be glad of it. That is how I can still love my allotment and stop it from ever feeling like a burden. That's how I can forgive it for limited harvests or infestations. It is because it sort of survives with a large helping of benign neglect.

I had a great hour at the patch today, weeding and clearing. Soaking up the warmth of the sun and thinking about what the patch could be like next year. My fennel is looking great and should be big enough to harvest soon before any frost arrives as I imagine the frost will kill it.

However in life not everything goes so well with such levels of neglect and a blog in one of those things that needs a little bit of regular attention. I have been to the patch a bit recently and have plenty to tell you all. So what has got in the way of posting? Well I have lost a little bit of my mojo. I'm also trying to get on top of my photography plans, it has been back to school for Owen in last couple of weeks, then with sorting a 2yr olds birthday needs, as always work has been very busy. Consequently I am just so worn out in the evenings, so to master the computer problems that have emerged since my lap top died has been as much as I could manage. Still it is upwards and onwards and blog posts should become more frequent.

I have had a second horticulturally focused hour today, at the garden centre. This hour which boosted my enthusiasm five fold. It included the purchase of lots of 50p seeds from the bargain bucket. There is nothing like cheap seeds and the promise that it brings! We arrived just in the nick of time and got the last lot of free bulbs for children. The bulbs are for a competition, Its one where we plant the three little red riding hood tulips and we keep a photo diary (right up Owen's street I think) lets hope that we can manage to do this and hand it in, in May next year!