Sunday 7 September 2014

Weeds, Seeds and Autumn Treats

Looking at the plot this weekeknd, I feel both delight and guilt, seeing the new shed all painted and full of tools is a wonderful thing, but the lush carpet of green shows how little I have been doing on the site during it's construction.

Saturday saw the start of the push to get the allotment ready for winter, starting with a few hours hoeing.
Once we had a few meters of the site clear, I knocked up a quick shallow planter from an old pallet, covered it with a double layer of weed suppressant matting and filled it with freshly weeded soil.

First Small Planter                                                                Sowing the First Seeds
With the summer rapidly waning, and autumn creeping up on us, there is little to plant at this time of year, so we opted for two crops that should provide greens between now and the true winter months.

The first crop we hope to harvest will be two rows of mixed red and green salad lettuce; sown in 1/2inch deep drills into soil already raked and watered. the first shoots should be sowing by mid September and ready to eat by the end of the month.

Our second choice was two rows of winter cabbage; Sown along with the lettuce, they should be ready for cropping in late Novemeber. With reasonably mild winters along the Dorset coast, and a little bit of luck with the frosts, we may be get them right through until the new year...

First Seeds Sown and Netted                                      Two rows each of Late Lettuce and Winter Cabbage
Once sown, the rows were marked, with the planter then covered with a light net to keep the local pidgeon population from eating the seeds and new shoots.

While we wait for the first seeds to grow we are able to pick the few things already on the plot.we are now eating the butternut squash that we transplanted from tubs at home into the allotment (See 'Raspberry Squash - 20th July), along with a few rogue potatoes that are popping up in random locations across the site. I thought we had cleared the plot during the initial clearance, but it would seem that the recent rains and late summer sunshine have prompted new growth from the few i missed.

Butternut Squash                                                                                                 Potatoes

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