26 October 2011

Holiday pottering

Tidy shed

Sown 'Feltham First' Peas 
Pea Frame

Moose! (thanks Jo)

Inner security door 

Bottom plot

Refelted shed roof

Cool but sunny autumn day

New 'ranch' skull motif

Tidy shed 2 
Seed bank

25 October 2011

Soil pH and Vegetables

As I am using a 3 plot rotation systems for next year, I will need to get my soil pH roughly correct for the types of vegetables in in each section:

  • Plot A = Potatoes and Parsnips
  • Plot B = Brassicas
  • Plot C = Peas, Beans, Onions and Squashes

Most plants prefer a pH between 6 and 7, as this range gives you the best access to nutrients and avoid any deficiencies and diseases.

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/Soil-pH.svg/512px-Soil-pH.svg.png 
Crops and pH

  • Plot A = Potatoes (5 to 6.5 pH) and Parsnips (6 pH) = so 5.5 to 6 pH
  • Plot B = Brassicas, Swedes and Beetroot = 6.5 to 7.5 pH 
  • Plot C = Peas (6 to 6.5 pH) , Beans (6 to 7 pH), Onions (6 to 7 pH) and Squashes (6 to 7 pH) = 6.5 pH
  • Extra small plot for Sweetcorn (up by Runner Beans) = 6 to 7 pH

Next purchase = pH testing gadget

Worth noting:

  • Chicken Manure Pellets are slightly alkaline
  • Wood ash is alkaline
  • Raspberries and fruit like acid soils


23 October 2011

Clearing and rotating the plot

Sown winter lettuce and cauliflowers

Cleared sweet peas

Mad an onion drying thing

Dug over plot

Harvested butternut squashes

A full green waste bin

Finished the path and carrot bin area

Fresh earth

Top pilot for brassicas

Planted some parsley (thanks Gaz)

Made wicker fence from raspberry canes

Planted red and white onion sets

Cleared raspberry area

Cut back tree for better growth

Onion rows

Rainbow chard 

Decorative bit

15 October 2011

The mysteries of 'crop rotation' & Allotmenteering - 1940s style

Now I have a bigger plot - can do a bit of proper crop rotation for much better results.

'Take-away' tips I have learnt:

  • Potatoes don't like Lime (get scab)
  • Brassicas like Lime to prevent disease
  • Root crops don't like fresh manure
  • Peas and beans don't mind fresh manure
  • Don't mix fertiliser / manure and lime
So planting patterns!
  1. Potatoes et al. = Rotted Manure / Fertiliser OK
  2. Brassicas et al. = Lime OK
  3. Peas, Bean etc... = Fresh(ish) Manure OK

Great read: http://www.earthlypursuits.com/AllotGuide/AllotGuide.htm

Source: http://www.earthlypursuits.com/AllotGuide/Allotment1_1.jpg 
Source: http://www.earthlypursuits.com/AllotGuide/AGG2_4a.jpg
Source: http://www.earthlypursuits.com/AllotGuide/DigforVictory1/DigForVictory1_2-3.htmnbsp;

9 October 2011

Misty and drizzly autumn day on lotty

Been busy on lotty today clearing away flowers and old summer veg (beans, courgettes etc..). Have decided to make one big are at the top of the plot cut in 2 by a path and a feature. The feature is a large old round black plastic tub, into which I think I will grow carrots!! Anyway, next year this area will be more of your typical cottage vegetable plot with herbs as flowers as well as veg. The bottom plot ill be potatoes, climbing beans and squashes
New feature

Cleared area for salad crops

Overflowing green waste bin

Repositioned trees

New path and feature

Clearing off the plot, leaving the squashes

2 October 2011

Record Breaking Sept End / Oct Start

BBC: Record UK temperature for October set at 29.9C

Nasturtium hedge

Butternut Squash



Sweetcorn Patch

Squash / Potato Patch

Autumn on the plot