Hello all! It’s nearly spring, still very cold here though. So cold, that the aurora borealis has been seen all over the British Isles. Quite a rarity. As usual with things like this, we missed it! Anyway, the allotment has been slowly coming back to life. The daffs and crocus have begun to appear, much needed colour after a long winter. Repairs are getting done – the shed roof and the fruit bed have had some work, but more of that later. For now … ONIONS!
Every year we show the obligatory picture of the onion sets in their modules, allowing roots to form so we can plant them out in a few weeks. Its the circle of allotment life that the onions have their day to shine. We don’t bother now with starting them from seed, we’ve tried quite a few times over the years and got nowt! So it’s Sets for us.
The broad beans were planted up. Maybe we should have waited a bit longer? The cold night air got to them and they look a bit ‘sad’. Hopefully they will survive! They are Aquadulce Claudia and Giant Exhibition Long pod. They were sown in autumn and have done OK. Just a shame to lose them now. The string looks a bit er … awful, but if they do survive, we’ve learned not to just stake them to a cane because they snap in the forthcoming winds. Better that they have something to move with while they send their roots down into the soil. If they survive the cold that is!
Right! Brace yourself! As part of making the allotment easier to manoeuvre due to bad knees and dodgy ankles and after the success of making the brassica tent higher to walk around last year and therefore easier to tend to, we decided to do something similar to the fruit bed.
Over the years we had amassed quite a good collection of redcurrants, whitecurrants, gooseberries and blueberries. A plot neighbour had given us a couple of tayberries in the autumn, so we decided to have a re-jig of the bed. The problem wasn’t the space, it was us crawling under the bird proof netting! After a good think and a nosy on instagram, we decided against a raised bed and dug down instead! We took a few (loads) of pics of our very home made fruit tunnel. We apologise in advance!
OK, it doesn’t look too aesthetically pleasing. We raised the side poles and in technical terms, ‘gaffer taped them to higher ones‘. We then used pieces of repurposed ( dumped ) bookcases around the edge to give it a bit of stability.
The old book cases have been added, and the path dug into the middle, and wood chipped. ( We know, we know, it still looks a bit rough, but stay with us. It gets better. Honest.
The old book cases have been painted with creosote just to make it look a bit more pleasing and to give it a bit of protection from the elements. The step is added. It was an old flag stone that had been on the plot for years. We’d kept falling over it wherever it was placed, seems like it was just waiting for a home. Then we added a doorway, made from various old bits and pieces. And there’s more…
And there you go! One easy access fruit bed! OK, it’s not the prettiest of things, but we like it. With the netting on, a door and a lick (a lot ) of paint it’s become a place where we can enjoy tending to the fruit and hopefully get more out of the crops. We’re planning on adding some more strawberries and some summer flowering bulbs or annuals to attract more pollinators.
Normal service should resume next month.
Stay safe everyone. Spring is coming. Happy Plotting!
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