Allotment, Gardening on a budget, Grow Your Own

GYO – Autumn Sunshine!

Today has been another busy day, post walking the children to school I arrived at the allotment for twenty past nine. After a generous lift from a friend, I had saved myself the twenty-minute walk and the vital energy saved I used to dig over my pumpkin bed.

The early morning sun was delightful, as I carefully turned over the soil it was clear that the manure put into the bed had worked its magic the soil was still soft but was not as sandy. The added humus obviously adding vital structure to the soil, the weeds were small and patchy thanks to the straw layer, which I separated and added to my wheelbarrow. I hope to dry it and use it on my rhubarb next year, as it will be a new bed and there is enough to give it a thick mulch.

The weeds and couch grass I placed into an old soil bag, I have not managed to remove these yet so I am using them to clear off the grass and weeds in my fourth fruit bed. This will ensure next year I can weed it and transfer my strawberries as I plan to put a slabbed area next to my shed so the children can sit in comfort and we can relax once our work is completed.

I would not have done this however the raised beds we have added are producing far more, requiring less weeding so I can allocate a little space for potting on and relaxation. The grass is still making its mark on my paths so I will be pulling out the roots again at the next visit.

After around forty minutes, turning over and weeding I had completed half of the groundwork for the bed. I took a stroll around the vegetables and found a few beautiful white cauliflowers beginning to form. The beans had managed to fill out a few large pods since the weekend and the Nasturtium has set seedlings in the border and by the bench which were a lovely surprise. I have left them to see if they last, I may pot them on and sit them in a water tray to overwinter or set a few in my hanging baskets at home.

I found several ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse, so harvesting them and putting them in my satchel I watered up to ensure the plants last; to ripen the rest of the fruit. My peppers are still small but they are peppers none the less and I am still amazed that the melons are flowering!

After returning to the pumpkin bed I continued to dig over the last quarter leaving a small area of pumpkin and courgette plants to continue for another week. This means that three-quarters is complete, weeded, edged and cleared by a few strands of straw which will add to next years much, when it is the flower and bean bed.

After collecting my harvest and setting the pumpkins to ripen I noticed a multi headed sunflower growing in my parsnip box the colour was beautiful in the early autumn light.

Finally I closed the gate and set off home, I want to strim the edges and walkways but it is just not possible at the moment. I enjoyed my brief but productive visit today and hope to return in a few days to work over some more of the ground. My potato bed is nettle heaven so I am going to add them to my nettle barrel and dig it over as well. This area was difficult to clear so I do not want to allow the weeds and brambles to establish where the grass was removed.

The tranquillity of early morning on the allotment is fabulous, but returning home exhausted, with a harvest, a warm greeting and a seat cannot be outdone!

Happy Horticulture!

Cheryl

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