I have to confess, I wasn’t that keen on the idea of piling a heap of manure on the raised beds as I thought it would be unpleasantly smelly. About autumn last year (I think) my husband went and got a small trailer load of (free!) horse manure and dug most of it into two of our three raised beds. There was still something growing in the other bed so instead I sowed some green manure when everything was finished.
I’d forgotten all about it though until I was trying to work out why some crops
grew exceptionally well this year and others not so. My stand out plant this year has
been the cucumber plant I thought I’d killed, which ended up producing a huge number of
cucumbers throughout the summer. I have only just taken the last ones off the plant and
cleared the bed.
The poo fuelled bed has also been home to a triffid like butternut squash plant, the first time I’ve had any success with them, as well as some sweet corn so it has done very well.
But the bed without the heap of manure has been a disaster this year – peas came and went, several rows of carrots failed altogether and I ended up harvesting no more than 10 weird and knobbly specimens. The only plants that did produce anything were the broad beans but they got rust early on and that was the end of them.
So I think we’ll be digging in some of the smelly stuff again this year, but this time will make sure all three beds get some…
Oh dear, our tree is looking just a bit threadbare now, well past the glory days of Spring!
We still have a scattering of apples on our excuse for a lawn – I did try and collect enough to do something with them but they really didn’t look very appetising and certainly didn’t look as glossy and appetising as those I’ve seen in photos! So I’m afraid the ones I’d picked up ended up going to the compost bin instead of being transformed into crab apple jelly as they didn’t look healthy enough to want to eat.
If you want more details of the Tree Following challenge and to have a look at a wide variety of trees that are being tracked, head over to the Loose and Leafy blog. If you click on my Tree
Following category you can see my original post in March, as well as the monthly updates to compare the difference.
Ebay has been a great source of ‘not quite free but nearly’ stuff for the allotment. The
greenhouse was won with a £6.50 bid but the seller was so happy to get it moved out of their garden (small children, footballs and non safety glass don’t really work) she didn’t charge for it. And the shed cost £10.
But of course, both had to be dismantled and transported back to the plot.
We’ve put some heavy duty underlay (free from a skip at the greenhouse seller’s place…) down in the greenhouse frame to kill off the grass underneath and act as a floor. It also came with some greenhouse staging which will be useful.
One of the main reasons to get the shed and greenhouse up as soon as possible is the water situation – there is none at the allotments so we need to get our water butts set up to collect the rain water as it runs off (guttering is the next purchase).
The shed is now looking very good, tiny bit of patching up to do but it is just about complete. The greenhouse is coming on nicely too, about half the glass is back in already.
And here’s the man who’s been doing all this hard work, carrying in the wood he’s planning to make a fruit cage with…