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Wet early winter weekend on the allotment

Posted by Guy Barter on 13 Nov 2010 at 09:09 AM

After a week of rain, the soil is saturated and unworkable for now. Air and soil temperatures remain on the warm side for the season and winter crops continue to improve.

 

 ・ With soil unrewarding to work, attention is paid to the compost pits with rotted material being wheeled out along the paths and tipped ready to use.

 

・ It is good opportunity to dig out ditches. The rains have not yet so saturated the soil that drains are beginning to flow. Ditches must fill soon however bringing ditching to an end.

 

・ Hedges and boundary trees are ripe for pruning which is done with a rechargeable chainsaw on the end of 3m pole, stakes, pea sticks and material for the allotment bonfires result.

 

 ・ Piled debris can now be burnt without arousing the wrath of neighbours or officiousness in the local fire brigade. Firemen called last year to a perfectly safe bonfire used an oxyacetylene torch to remove the allotment padlock causing us much damage, loss and inconvenience.

 

・ Many allotment members are landscapers and deposit ample supplies of leaves – wet weekends area good opportunity to wheel these to the plot for composting. ・ The soft fruit can be winter pruned from now on – but this is best enjoyed on crisp frosty sunny days.

 

 ・ Harvesting continues. With about 15 weeks of winter and early spring to provide for, it is pleasing to see the plentiful stands of brassicas, roots and leeks. Many allotment holders forsake winter crops entirely but as these potentially yield very heavily compared to summer crops such as tomatoes, peas or salads, it seems to me to be well worth devoting some land to them.

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