Monday, 28 December 2009

The only problem with getting a lottie ..............

Lottie Update.

The only problem with getting a lottie is that I haven't had time to post regular updates!

What a summer, the weather was ok, most of our time was spent at the lottie digging, weeding, laying paths, marking out, building raise
d beds, planting and putting in the new shed.

It has been hard graft but it has been worth it. The lottie is starting to take shape and I should be able to have a full growing season next year. All the beds (with the exception of 3) have been dug through the Autumn, alpaca manure has been added and covered with black polythene for the winter.

Although I didn't get the lottie until the end of June we managed to grow carrots, purple sprouting broccoli, winter cabbage, beetroot, and chard. We have met a lot of the plot holders who have been very friendly and welcoming.

All the strawberries have been transplanted to the lottie and we built a fruit cage (21ft x6ft) which has black currants, red currants, loganberry, raspberries, and tayberries growing inside.
The picture on the left was taken whist we were building it, it is a wooden frame, the roof is covered in strong pea netting and the sides in scaffolder's net.

I have planted three varieties of Rhubarb: Timberley, Red Champagne, Victoria, and at the start of December managed to plant the bare rooted fruit trees that I ordered back in the summer. We have planted: Victoria plum, Opal, Pear: Beth, Apples: Bramley, Bountiful, Bleinham Orange, and Discovery. All trees are M9 root stocks. I am hoping to pick up a few more trees in the spring when the supermarkets have their offers on. We have planted three gooseberry bushes - green, yellow and red. The Goji bush has been planted towards the front of the lottie.

In October we build a leaf mould bin from wire mesh and stakes. We managed to collect a trailer load of leaves and the bin is half full, will have to get more for next year. The compost bin that we built is not completed yet but is usable. I want to modify the front so it has doors on it, which are the width of the wheel barrow. The bin is made from recycled pallets and has two bays.
In September we visited a factory which gives away free recycled wood. We managed to get a trailer load of wood which we have used to make raised beds down the other side of the path.

We have built an asparagus bed which has been planted along side the herb bed. I have planted Comfrey bocking 14 in a block leaving plenty of room for it to grow, this will be used across the plot as liquid fertilizer.

Blueberries have been planted in their own bed with special acid compost. We also managed to grow our first pumpkin!! It was one of the small varieties called Baby Bear. We used it to make soup. I was very proud of this little pumpkin as it was the first produce off the lottie.

We have planted broad beans as a direct sowing at the lottie. I tried these once before and didn't like them so picked a different variety to try. We ended up with Bunyards Exhibition. All the seeds germinated are about 2-3 inches high, and I have a few spares at home. I may risk another sowing later in the spring .

At the end of the summer I sowed some onions which I wanted to over winter on the lottie along side some Japanese onion sets that I picked up in wilko. At the start of the year I had ordered sets from a reputable company which let me down by sending mouldy onion sets, I threw them in not really expecting much from them, a lot of the onions were ok, but they didn't reach a good size. So I decided that from now on apart from the Japanese overwintering sets that I would try my own onions grown from seed. I planted a couple of varieties Hi keeper and one other that I have forgotten the name of. These onions grew very well and have been transplanted out on to the lottie, they have put on suitable growth before the weather started to change so I will see how I get on with these. I am planning to do another sowing of onions this week which I will keep indoors until they have germinated and then they will be moved to the utility room as its a bit cooler in there.

We have had a great time getting the lottie ready and I am looking forward to starting a new growing season.

We still have lots to learn and it may not all be successful but here's hoping. Thanks for reading

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