News from the Allotments

December 30, 2016

A week of sub-zero temperatures should have killed off a few slugs and snails but perhaps not their eggs.

However, it is a good start to winter. Also this year there seemed to me to be very little aphid activity, although I don’t recall seeing a lot of ladybirds eating the few that I did see. White fly were also not such a problem on the brassicas, so from that point of view a good year! Fingers crossed for 2017.

On the other hand, the weeds proliferated… bindweed was everywhere, and if not taken in hand very regularly, began to cover everything. It is particularly difficult to extract from the middle of gooseberry and raspberry patches, as of course is couch grass, despite my best efforts. It might be best to remove every other plant so that the weeds can be removed. After the canes have been cut down would be the best time, room to move then.

My broad beans have started to show in the greenhouse growbags; hopefully they will not get too leggy before it is time to plant them out in early spring.

The brassica patch is really rather pathetic; the suffering they endured in their early life has resulted in a very small growth of sprouts and a couple of paltry cabbages. There might be one cauliflower, I’ve not dared to look inside the curled leaves yet. The leeks have done reasonably well considering they went in rather late but there is a lot of coarse green and not a lot of white, which is annoying. I obviously didn’t plant them deep enough!

Compost corner: after a mammoth harvesting of leaves from the village footpaths recently, most of them ended up at the allotments. We’ve filled both bays and taken a few away but the remainder are going to be taken to Agrivert and turned into compost at their depot in Ewelme, a good solution all round as it will then come back to us as ready made compost at the next Compost Giveaway in spring.   Angela Hoy (