Grow

The Allotment

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Wall flowers planted in 2016 for early 2017 bee attraction.

Our allotment is one of around 400 in a hidden spot in among the houses in the center of our town.  We reside at No 3, we were the lucky recipient in late summer 2012 of an overgrown plot that needed clearing. We spent three years clearing it and now use the whole plot every year.

The allotment is my outdoor gym for 10 months of the year, digging burns the most amazing amount of calories and lugging watering cans around does wonders for your upper arms.

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Plot No 3 when we first arrived in 2012.

The first year we only grew some lettuce and lots and lots of potatoes a few beans and some courgettes to clear the ground and break up the soil.  Last year was the last bit of allotment to be cleared, a three year project, and planted with potatoes with clear the final bit.  I am hoping for a better crop this year as I undertake crop rotation and plant in the middle of the allotment for the second time.

wireworm_lv_msThe downside of planting to break up the ground is the variety of potato you choose and if its very desirable or not to a mass destruction bug called wire worm.  They normally live in grass so when you clear your plot they hatch expecting grass roots and get potatoes that they love and do an amazing job of burrowing into making the potato rot if its stored and be inedible as they burrow all over the potato munching on your hard work and effort.  Over half my crop of Orla no good last year.

There are a couple of varieties of potatoes that are more resistant. Charlotte was less damaged than the beautiful Orla that was almost devastated.  The red main crop potato Saxo Sarpona was left almost untouched but it was my test crop that I planted late, so I only had small tubers and only half a rows worth.  Not enough to supply us through the winter.

This year I have planted my favorite Home Guard a heritage variety of new potato, it tastes amazing.  Charlotte as it is so resistant to most bugs and it actually stores really well.  Orla because it tastes so amazing and finally Sarpo Axona.  I am very pleased to report that last years test was successful, it did so well that I’ve planted it much earlier and a whole row this year.  My finders and toes are crossed that the effort of planting, watering, feeding and weeding will be worth it with less wire worm damage this year as we’ve planted in a bit of the plot that we cultivated two years ago. I will keep you posted on progress.

 

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