By the magic and wonder of the internet I have scheduled this post to go live on Friday afternoon even though I am on my holidays. Ooohh spooky. Around the time you read this I shall either be in Ireland or on a boat or in France - hoorah!
The time had come to do a massive clear out on 24a. This, my friends, made us very happy. We love to rip things out of the ground and tear them up for the compost heap. I think in fact that making compost may be the best thing about owning an allotment sometimes, especially when so many things can and have gone wrong for us this year.
I started my time on Saturday with the removal of the purple cornflowers and the zinnias. They had passed their best and the zinnias were sort of gross and diseased now even though they still had flowers. It felt fabulous to have the area around the apple trees clear again and I'm sure they are enjoying the free root space too. Getting everything out, including the flowering weeds that we didn't want in the compost took quite a while and I was eaten by bugs (I have 4 big itchy lumps on my lower back, grrrr).
|flowers all gone now :)|
I captured this rather lovely photo though so I think it was worth it :) Is it just me or are there a lot more spiders around this year?!
|pretty spider's web|
One sad thing I noticed were the state of the gooseberry bushes in this long back of 24a bed. They have been well and truly decimated by sawfly. I hate sawfly! But at least this year I got over my 'eeow, yuck!' feelings and picked off every last one I could find, with my bare hands. *proud grin*
|the gooseberry enemy!|
Elsewhere Andrew was super busy with the new asparagus bed on Saturday but on Sunday he worked with me on 24a. After the simple joys of digging and adding manure and digging...etc on 14b, his time on 24a was a little disheartening; the carrots and celeriac had failed due to carrot fly (which also affects the celery family) and all needed removed. This is the second year our carrots have been crappity and it's getting very annoying.
|the damage caused by carrot fly :(|
However, from the very same bed we lifted this large hessian bag full of perfect beetroots - happy dance. They have been so delicious and I look forward to getting stuck into the rest of them.
|beautiful, bountiful beetroot|
Now, apart from some parsnips this bed is empty and Andrew has already started to dig and add manure etc. Next year it shall house our sweetcorn and courgettes and you know that has to be good soil as I loves my corn.
|Clearing and digging in manure|
So apart from all that I weeded the path area which was becoming a trip hazard and once the rains come, a slip hazard too. Did you know we here in NI had the driest September since 1910 when records began, I think there was an average of 6mm of rain fell in the whole month. Will the heavens now open? eek
|weeding that blasted path|
So there you have it. Of course there is lots more to be done, under the strict supervision of Maggie, who sat on next doors overgrown plot for a better view the whole weekend. Boy does she work us hard :)
|Maggie the wonder dog|
Love and hugs