Allotment, Grow Your Own, Writing

GYO – Allotment 2019

As I watch the moon fresh against the clear blue sky, gradually sinking behind the snow covered roofs, above our silhouetted  garden I am in wonder at the vision, even more wonder at what has become of my camera? Why is it the best pictures are those missed, today I will have to make time to find it! Our garden looks amazing, the palms and fruit trees etched in snow, the palms drooping with the weight, and my tree fern which I froze my feet to fleece last night as the snow began to fall outside.

My Autumn garden looks like a selection of iced cakes, set out for a winter celebration and the only movement is that of the birds visiting the branch perches through the garden to pause. Our garden is an Oasis in the street somewhere they visit on there way back to the local forests. I put in the fruit trees a few years ago, mainly for the yearly fruit crop, additionally as a canopy from the blaze of the summer sun. I also had designs to bring the birds in, a natural visual for us to enjoy from our windows.

My previous posts I expressed that I did not need to plan my space as it was designated by crop rotation, although it is set I obviously can choose the crop placement around the various spaces on our plot. The visual layout which I built on Powerpoint as we did our first preparations in 2017, has been developed as we added to achieve a variety of growing spaces.

The current version is one prepared in October, I chose the spaces next crop by what has been planted last season. The areas unseen are the greenhouse and pumpkin bed, also the bramble spire is the centre of the wildlife garden which I chose to set in the compost area. This space is for flowers and shrubs that flower through the seasons, provide shelter for insects and butterflies in the long grasses and nettles, obviously nectar for pollinators.

So I have planned the changes of smaller spaces but my three main land beds are set by the planting of last years crops. I am waiting to trench dig my pumpkin and potato beds on our site, however at zero degrees I will save it for a warmer day! The brilliant blue skies are  a draw outside until you venture outside to feel the icy chill of winter.

I have set to plant the first peas and beans today, these along with other seeds sown will be a natural barometer to show when the growing season starts. So set in our small greenhouse they will appear when the temperature and light is at the appropriate levels for growth. These will hopefully be growing in the next six weeks, however the late drop in temperature may see them growing later, less in March and more in May.

So as much as I set seed, I am well aware successful growth is dependant on when the winter weather finally passes. Until then my Brassica plants will hopefully develop and I can plant them in ground protected and mulched from the frost.

I find this type of visual plan is more effective than a list, it allows me to set spaces to crops without the investment in apps or programmes. The spaces are easy to update and I can jot my planting times and sowing details in tables on additional slides. Also with the addition of photos I can document family visits, work and harvests in the same document to build a season by season log. This being the third year our 2019 plan and crops list is carried from last years lists, but only the varieties of crops are changed so the planting times are set to types of crops and not varieties.

All in All, my seed Barometers are set, our plans are made, so all we are waiting for is for germination to show the seasons beginnings!

Happy Horticulture!

Cheryl

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