Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Beautiful Day in May

Over the last couple of weeks it has been hectic. Ann has persuaded the allotments officer and the allotments secratary to allow her to set up a community comfrey patch on one of the disused plots next to the block of flats that has been built. It has loads of rubble left from the building work and having been left it also has a fair bit of bramble. We have started to clear a patch and have put in about 40 plants so far. The plan is that as we clear areas other members can move their Comfrey to free up ground for other crops.

In the meantime the potatoes have shown their heads above the surface and have needed to be earthed up a couple of times you might just be able to make them out in the rows at the back. The onion bed is doing well and has been gone over with a hoe to deal with small weeds that have been popping up. The potatoes in the boxes have been doing really well and need earthing up again after only two days. The first earlies are now nearly three boards high and the second earlies are actually at three boards high. We are rapidly running out of soil to fill the boxes with! We'll also need to get some more boards. I'll top up with more soil tomorrow.

There are some short rows of cabbage and runner beans behind the potato boxes with asparagus behind them with one solitary globe artichoke plant in amongst the asparagus. In the foreground are some rows of Florence Fennel, and Celeriac and Beetroot.

The white sprouting brocolli has done so well that some of the heads actually look like cauliflowers.

The crop of Garlic is absolutely amazing it looks like a bed of leeks but no it really is a bed of garlic. Just to the right of it you can see the comfrey bed on our allotment. Once we have more space cleared some of it will move to the communal comfrey bed. I have set up a pipe to stuff comfrey into so the concentrated fluid can be collected during rotting down. It is amazing it just seems to swallow handfuls of comfrey every day. The fluid that comes out looks a bit like "Tomato feed" and it works well as such. The fluid is high in Potash and Nitrogen and makes a wonderful foliar feed when mixed at the rate 1 capful to a gallon of water. Comfrey is so deep rooted that it pulls nutrient up from fairly deep levels.

The comfrey rotter is built like the diagram with a bottle of water to act as a a weight to push the comfrey down the tube.

A section of plastic drain pipe.

Plastic milk bottle to act as a catching funnel

Plastic collecting bottle to collect fluid.

Next to the onions is a bed of peas under a cloche and the bed continues on with more peas planted yesterday without the benefit of cloche to speed it up. This should give us a second cropping of peas.

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