On Thursday we had a dry day so spent it at the allotment catching up on a few jobs.
The weeds have started to make an appearance so the soil must be starting to warm up. I started by turning the compost heap to aerate it and adding a few bags of manure. The amount of waste has reduced by more than half and is doing OK. Although I haven't had proper compost yet it seems to be on the way. I am going to save some newspapers to add to the mix and later I will add comfrey which will speed things up. I have covered it over and have my fingers crossed!
I have one bed left to dig over which is on the list for the next visit. I have raked the majority of the seed beds ready for sowing. I have noticed that the soil is of a much better structure since we started cultivating the allotment back in 2009. The soil looks a much healthier colour rich brown rather than grey, we have lots of earth worms, and the ground is easier to tend. We have been using manure which is added at the end of the season once the beds have been cleared and dug it seems to be doing the trick.
The leaf mould bin is full so I am hoping to be able to use this later in the year, as last year we filled it up and again this year it has been filled to the top so hopefully the leaf mould at the bottom of the bin may be ready for use at the end of the season.
Fruit trees and bushes have all been fed and mulched with 2 inches of compost this should help them get off to a good start as they are coming out of dormancy, producing big fat buds and green shoots. Whilst doing the raspberries in the fruit cage I had a good tidy up of the strawberry bed removing dead leaves. The rhubarb has big fat buds breaking through the ground so I have mulched around the plants to give them a feed.
I have sown a double row of broad beans, three different varieties as I had some seed left: Giant Exihibition Longpod, Bunyards Exhibition and Witkiem Manita.
Planted some early lettuce seedlings under a cloche, I have plenty more if these fail but lettuce is a cool climate crop and seems to do better at the start of the year rather than in summer.
Pea's: One full row of Onward and a half row of Kelvdon Wonder, both rows have been covered with sticks to deter wildlife.
Carrots: Early Nantes, Amsterdam Forcing and some Polish seed have all been sown under cloches.
Beetroot: Boltardy - Sown under cloche.
Parsnips: Gladiator and Hollow Crown sown under cloches.
All the above are old seed and I won't be disappointed if they fail to grow but will be delighted if they do. They have two chances!
The shed has had a good tidy up, brought home some soil for acid loving plants to pot on a Camellia which was a gift from a good friend the rest which was left has been spread round the blue berry bushes which are looking very well. Lots of new growth.
Today I have ordered some new herbs which won't be available until April which will be added to the new herb area. This afternoon I am going to divide oregano and three lots of thyme which are growing in the back garden to take to the allotment once they have started to put on some growth.
The weather here today: am tipping down and now its stopped and the sun has made an appearance.