Wednesday 15 February 2017

OUR ALLOTMENT - Life on The Weald February 2017 (1)

February 2017 (1)

A double hernia operation just before Xmas and an eye operation in January have delayed some essential work and the amount of rain hasn't helped in enabling us to prepare the soil for planting and there is still a lot of weed clearance and digging to be done.

We have almost cleared a patch, however, to transplant our blackcurrant bushes and two gooseberry bushes from Mile Oak and we need to find space for two more gooseberry bushes donated by a Weald neighbour.

We have cleared about one third of the site and installed raised beds.  The Broad beans (Aquadulce) planted in October and November are doing well

And the double row of Luz de Otona sown in December is just showing through.   I have now sown a double row of Giant Exhibition.

The shallots planted before Xmas are showing through and I have just planted two rows of a later variety, Jermor.  The garlic planted in December, is also going great guns.

As digging in the very wet soil is difficult, I took the opportunity to top-dress the blueberries with a rich ericaceous compost.  I am growing them in pots because they don't like the South Downs chalky soil.

From the footpath, the site is beginning to look quite organised

- but that's deceptive as about two-thirds remains to be cleared.  Apart from transplanting the fruit bushes, preparing the ground for the early potatoes is the next priority.

And whilst I've been weeding and planting, Sylvi has made great progress in clearing all the weeds and brambles from the far end and building a fence with pallets - it's still a work in progress, but looking good.  Sylvi has also made a great start on clearing and preparing the site for our shed. The footpath to the left is the boundary of our site and was laid by our neighbour.

We are just hoping for a few dry weeks - fingers crossed!

John Austin

February 2017, Hove

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