Thursday, March 24, 2011

Visions And Vegetables

I have spent a lot of time recently up at the plot. I did five hours today up at the allotment. I saw the first Butterflies of the year a few days ago, but only managed to get this photo today. The Tortoiseshell Butterfly alighted on the dry soil to sun himself. Once I got too close he flitted off like a wild spirit. They are so beautiful and amazing to photograph if they land close enough for you!

Growing by itself in the Brambles was this Feisty Daffodil. It is situated behind my compost heap bags. It caught my eye as I started the digging again today.
I am racing to get the allotment ready for my plants. I have changed from making individual raised beds, to having the whole plot dug over from end to end, and then planted in blocks.

This photo is the result of weeks of digging to remove all the weeds, and couch grass that had started to grow over the winter.
The green on the upper right of the photo are my five Rhubarb crowns, growing under a huge Gooseberry bush that has been there years.
The green sliver is last years path. It needs digging over to meet the soil on either side.
I have not burnt any thing despite generating a huge amount of grass/weeds. All the green waste is being composted. I will return all the lotties compost back into the soil. I will supplement with fresh manure too to add the organic content.Recycling allotment waste into compost is one part of my natural vision.
I brought the second Water butt up to join the first one that is connected to the shed. Collecting rainwater and using it to water the plot is another part of my natural vision.
Around the shed I have laid down black liner with wood and stones to form a solid base to avoid standing in mud.
I have Potatoes, Onions Sets, and Garlic that can be planted after my night shifts. I will try to finish digging the green sliver tomorrow so the dug soil is ready to be raked over, and marked out with sticks and string.
The side behind the photo has been started but is mostly full of roots. The black tarpaulin I laid down last year did a good job of killing off the weeds/grasses. It was important to me to clear the plot by hand, with no chemicals sprayed. This is the third prong of my green vision, no harmful chemicals/pesticides/herbicides etc.
I want to try some companion planting this year to try to stop the pests from attacking the plants. The whole plot will be surrounded by a grass border, and hopefully some natural wildflowers and plants. I want to grow in harmony with nature. I have seen lots of worms, butterflies,some early foraging Bees, Field Spiders, and even Slugs. The birds are constantly singing around the trees that surround the allotments. Working with nature is another part of my green vision.
This is the second post from today showing what I have been upto. I'm on nights from tomorrow so all work will cease for a while. I need to start drawing my allotment planting plan after the nights.

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