The Allotment Diaries: August (2)

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The filled bed, complete with red clover seeds (and doggy footprints)

I spent a little time raking the soil and removing the odd weed/seedling that had grown since last week.  The problem with buying in topsoil is that you don’t know where it has come from.  This has a fair amount of plastic shreds, bits of string, and pieces of glass mixed in, with a few weeds starting to grow too.

The large clumps are starting to break down, but are still quite claggy.  I broke my rake trying to break a piece down, so resorted to using my hands (in gloves).

As we had heavy rain for most of yesterday, the soil hasn’t really had a chance to dry out, but that doesn’t appear to have stopped some of the other gardeners who have been out planting.

I’m taking things slowly, and getting to know the soil and prevailing wind direction.  In between chasing Harry the Cocker Spaniel off my bed and chatting to his owner, I have sown the entire bed with red clover, as a green manure which will overwinter the bed and will be dug in to return nutrients to the soil as I plant up each section next Spring.

Thoughts now turn to the best way to rabbit- (and dog-) proof my raised bed, and – if I can get them cheap enough (without paying excess delivery charges) – flexi-balls or cane connectors might be the way forward.

Cane connectors 1

As it’s mainly to keep rabbits out, I’m torn between chicken wire (hardy but not flexible) or netting (which is flexible but could be a danger to birds who may become entangled).

I have settled on the 3-year crop rotation and have been taking lavender and rosemary cuttings to grow on for my insect-friendly strips across the bed.

Permanent Insect-friendly planting.r

So far, the rosemary has done well and I potted the cuttings on into separate pots.  There are no roots showing yet for the lavender.

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The rosemary plants above were rooted in a large pot and separated into single pots. The cuttings below were taken 3 weeks later and placed immediately into single (smaller) pots.

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The Allotment Diaries: August (1)

1st August

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When the Committee announced that they’d had another 20 tonnes of top soil delivered yesterday, we decided to spend an hour or so filling our raised bed early this morning.

Continue reading “The Allotment Diaries: August (1)”