A bit of a different topic today. Yesterday was very windy and wet at various times but this morning came with grey skies but no wind or rain. So we decided we would pop over to the allotment and see what was available.
Our allotment is about 2 miles away and so means a car journey to get there. There are about 100 plots in all on a sloping site and we are about two thirds of the way down the slope. As a result, the soil is quite heavy clay and it really could do with being double dug because the clay is solid just over a spit depth. However, we’ve dug in various lots of compost over the years and the top 12 inches or so is reasonable with a good helping of worms.
We’ve had it for coming up four years (so any problems are now mine and can’t be blamed on the previous incumbent). Its 290 sq yards and its split up into 11 beds about 2 yds by 7 yds each plus a couple of trees, some blackberry and raspberry canes, a shed and compost heaps.
When we got there today, the ground was really wet but it seems to be draining. Unlike the allotment two further down the slope where the water was puddled on the top. Fortunately I dug over various beds before the rain and snow and as a result the piles of soil are draining well and the soil looks like it might be quite friable later on in the season.
We planted garlic back in December and that seems to be growing OK and we’ve got a few spring greens that seem to have survived the winter and hopefully will be available later on.
Anyway, above is a picture of our today’s harvest (after being washed). A collection of parsnips of various sizes (some big, some small). The soil is really too heavy for parsnips to grow the even sizes that you would buy from the supermarket but that isn’t why one grows vegetables.
We also started shifting some of the compost onto the beds so that it can be dug in. I usually buy mushroom compost because that is alkali and helps to improve the soil condition. Unfortunately the company I buy it from has stopped growing white mushrooms and I’m gong to have to find an alternative source. The soil is so heavy that it has to be well composted every year otherwise it will revert to hard clay.