Popping in the Celery

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I was lucky enough this week to be given some lovely healthy little celery seedlings. It’s such a lovely community at the allotment, everyone swapping and eager to share their ‘babies’!

Now I have to say that I’m not sure of the variety of celery that we were given but I am told that it’s self blanching, so basically it’s not going to need ‘earthing up’.

I have found that we are getting short on space at the plot, which I can hardly believe after the way I was so initially daunted by the size of the area, so I’ve created a block of celery, rather than a row and although I suspect the seedings may be a little close together but I will see how they get on.

celery-692867_1280I also thought this would be a great little spot for them as they like moisture rich soil and this bed has recently been mulched with horse manure (which I rotovated in the week before).

I will see how it comes on, we’re happy to partake in a little trial and error!

Sarah,
Gardener & Blogger, Digging the Earth

 

 

The Allotment in Spring Time! 

A frosty morning in Derbyshire

It’s been a busy time of things here! This spring is the first that I’ve actually been able to get some seeds started ready for the allotment and we’re all finding it very exciting!

Our first spring on the plot was a little less organised, not for lack of hard work, but we just didn’t have enough ground dug to think about much else. This time last year was all about the clearing!

I’m really pleased to say that at this current point in time we are pretty much in top of things! There’s still so much that I’d like to do with the space and obviously get lots of food growing but that feeling of being completely overwhelmed has begun to subside. With my experience gained last year  I now realise that just a couple of weeks of neglect and the weeds will be back in charge so I’m doing my very best not to let that happen!

The past month or so we have managed to get a good amount of seeds started, flowers and veg. I’m going to experiment with getting some started early in our little greenhouses and starting others a little later straight outside. We’ll see!

We’ve managed to start shaping our wildlife area too, this is going to be a fun project that the kids are really enthusiastic about!

I had managed to clear much of my  compost heap, using much of the fab stuff that came from it to shape the area where the pond will be. That was until the very spot was filled with a trailer load off free horse muck! Too good an offer to be fussy about my freshly cleared ground!

I’m not sure if the muck has rotted down enough to use straight where I’m growing but I have plenty of areas that would welcome a good layer of muck mulch, which can be dug in later in the year!

I mentioned to my husband when I wondered how things had changed in life that I was so excited at the prospect of a truckload of free poo!

Nick Bakers Worm World / Worm Farm

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I thought it would be a great idea to ask Father Christmas to bring my little man a one of these fantastic sets to create his very own worm habitat! 

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It’s all very good telling the kids what a great invaluable job all of the worms in the soil but nothing quite gets the message across like seeing it in action.

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We had our Worm World set up in just about half an hour and hope to make some interesting observations over the coming weeks!

You can find out about this set and others here, including a video of Nick Baker showing you how to set up the Worm World.

Our Allotment Plan 2016

I’ve had lots of fun over the past couple of months creating my plan for our dream allotment and here it is!

There’s no hard and fast rules about sticking to this but I’m happy to have a great guide in my pocket of how I saw things fitting in at the beginning of the year.

We’ll also be dotting in little homes for wildlife along our way too!

I look forward to taking photos throughout the year and let you know how we get on with each area.

Sarah x

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Back to it…Weeding the Leeks!

First day back at the allotment this year and what a sorry sight it was too! Little and often is going to be the way forward for us this year, so I set an hour aside for some tidying up!

We really haven’t got a lot up there that could have been damaged by the storms but there was netting and fleece that had ripped away and making the place look untidy, this I tackled first.

Then, a job that I had been meaning to do for a while, weeding in between the leeks, a little tedious but necessary non the less! Hope fully I will be able to keep the competition at bay for these little ones hand have a big fat crop come the autumn!

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The onions (next to the leeks) will also need doing soon too. Although they aren’t too bad at the moment.

I was pleased to noticed the emergence of the elephant garlic!

With the 20 minutes that I had left I managed to winter dig quite a good stretch of another bed, but as you’ll see from the picture, I still have lots left to do!

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Always plenty to be getting on with any time of year, I’m now going to check the weather forecast and plan when my next stint is going to be!

Winter Digging

I can’t quite believe it’s been a whole year since we first heard the phrase ‘winter digging’! Yes, that’s rights I’d never heard of it before! Now, the green figured creature that I am becoming day dreams about it quite frequently, every day that I spend at my desk or that it’s raining at the weekend, I’m pondering  “I really should be winter digging now”.

I’ve not researched very much into the type of digging that I should be doing or really given much thought to improving our soil structure, although I have tried my hand at some green manure this month. Other than that I’m concentrating on my constant battle with the weeds, we have lots and lots of deep tap rooted weeds, mainly dandelion, dock and horse radish, which despite being dug over in some areas several times are still very persistent.

I’m really hoping that perhaps after our second year, it will become easier to keep on top of the weeds, especially with our use of weed proof membrane whenever possible.

There’s some great info on winter digging from the BBC here.

So here’s to winter diggers across the land, may your back (and your coffee) stay strong!

Green Manure

Overwinter Nitrogen Fixing Rye Vetch Mix

Today the main task was the bean bed. This year I had used this space for potatoes so it was ready for a good clear up and my first sowing of some green manure.

I went on somewhat of a mission to get this dug over and weeded! Almost two hours later and I was ready to throw my winter rye about merrily and rake it in. To be honest I don’t think I bought enough for the area, so will be making a purchase of another couple of packets from here.
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Hopefully the green manure will be happy enough and my beans will be an improvement on this year (which wouldn’t be hard!).
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Other little jobs that I managed to do also today was plant our rosemary plant, it hadn’t been looking too happy in the pot at home, I thought it would be a nice addition to our ‘herb garden’ at the allotment.
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I also had a lovely little rose that we thought had died in it’s pot, but after a little TLC from hubby is looking well again, I have popped that in at the top of the allotment. Hopefully it will grow nicely there and add a bit of colour. I’m also hoping to get more and more plants and flowers to attract the bees.
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