Thursday, 5 December 2013

Preparing the allotment for a short absence

in the snow March 2013
For all sorts of reasons I have been away from this blog for a while - although my other blogs have been even busier for much the same reasons. Before I came away, I did what I could to "put my plot to bed" as best I could in the hope it would survive the few weeks of lacking my love and attention.
To start with I gave it all a jolly good weed - not that it needed much - followers will know I have those dreaded weeds pretty much under control anyway. I took down the bean canes and put them away in dry storage ready for another year, cut the surrounding grass, did all the edging to make it all look neat, made sure the netting protection seemed secure against winter gales, and harvested what I could from the red cabbage and broccoli.
Now I know the latter will have gone hopelessly to seed in my absence - but I will cut all the flowers and seed heads off and this should reward me with another flush of edible tops.
I then covered every square inch of bare earth with a coating of thick manure. If you are not so lucky as to have unlimited quantities of this stuff then pieces of old carpet or black plastic will do to suppress everything beneath. Or even generously sow some "green manure"- things like alfafa or clover which will obligingly germinate in most weathers and will smother everything else. Then it can be dug in before it flowers and seeds.
It all looked really good before I bade it a fond farewell for a while. But I forgot my camera to put it on record.
This weekend I shall see how my strategy has worked, and report back!