Sunday, June 29, 2008

Scarlet Buds And Soil For The Soul

I looked back to March for this blogged picture of the plot when I got it in March.The top right hand corner has the black compost bin that marked the limit of my plot and Mr Saddiqs.

Fast forward, and this is the plot today.... From the bottom of the photo up there are Runner Beans under the A frame, then Peas, Borage, and French Beans. Onions and Carrots to the right, and the Potatoes to the left. The Cabbages and Brussel Sprout plants are next on the right, and the last bed furthest away has Courgettes growing. Mr Saddiqs grape vines have suprised me by actually growing mini grape buds.The sunshine we have had has been hot and for days at a time.I doubt they will grow fully but lets wait and see.

I caried up in a carrier bag my five Reserve Runner Bean Polestar plants. These five juveniles joined the plants growing already under the A frame. The local slugs and snails have decimated about three quarters of the seedlings before they had a chance to grow on. One advanced plant has scarlet flower buds on. The leaves glowed in the sunshine after they had been soaked by toerrential rain.

The Runner Bean flower buds today. I had spent a few hours trying to cut the grass and weeds between the beds with a knife. It was easier than using cutting tools that give me blisters.My beds have between 35 to 40 square feet of perimeter each!
The grass gives me a path to work around each bed, keeps the soil in place, and absorbs some of the moisture too when it rains heavily.I have not worked out how to keep it trimmed with no power source at the allotment. I thought about a battery run strimmer, or today an old fashioned push lawn mower to run between the beds.

I got a book from Amazon.co.uk called "Vegetable Growing: Month by month" by John Harrison. I needed something that had a guide as to what gets planted when, and a list of jobs month by month. I will review it when I finish it.
I have cleared the plot, dug six beds, forked them over, hand pulled weeds and grass out, dug manure in, planted plants and sowed seeds, watered, and weeded.
I feel the daily stresses dissapear as im working at the allotment. I feel more compassion for my vegetable plants than my flowering plants in the garden.I dont know why I feel that way..
I feel more in tune with the seasons and feel connected to the soil. I check the weather now for my days off to see if i can get to the allotment without getting soaked.
My horticultural skills are being stretched in the exposed, clay soiled plot, and I enjoy the challenge of growing something that can be cooked or used in a meal..
A quote from my new book is that " working the soil is good for the soul, as well as good for the muscles". It makes me quite lyrical about the allotment, despite the hard work, sweat, blisters, and blood.

3 comments:

TopVeg said...

Great pictures, proving you have successful outcomes! So many wonderful veg! Congratulations

snappy said...

Thanks Topveg I will look at your blog soon.I could have done with reading your advice about the Runner beans.I wander what you think about slug damage to newly grown Runner bean plants?I lost about two thirds of all the seedlings to pest damage!
I found its better for the plants to be grown from seed to get a good start and then plant them when they are beyond the seedling stage..
I have also sowed seeds at intervals so the cropping season should be extended and not ending up with a glut of Runner Beans..
Thanks for dropping by :)

Gee Magpie said...

Hey Bruv!

This is amazing, what you started with and what you've got growing now. I hope Mr Saddiq's grapes do grow as real wine is (no offence) so much better than dandelion wine!

Keep toiling on the soil Dave!

Sis x