Four Hours at the Plot!
As it wasn't too hot today I took advantage of this and went to do some heavy work at the plot.
Firstly I moved all the fresher stuff from the top of the compost pile into the empty bay; on top of the fresh stuff (that I had piled up at the other end of the plot and moved in yesterday afternoon)which I chopped up as a base layer.
Then I started sifting out the lovely made compost at the bottom. All the twiggy pits and un-decomposed bits have gone back into the new compost pile. I did quite a bit of this but got stiff so had a change of job.
I was disappointed to note that there weren't any worms in this compost pile either. Is there a "season" for worms? There were some slow worms in the manure bay, but no ordinary worms anywhere. I think the compost may have been rather too dry for them so the newly turned heap has had a good hosing this morning.
I had piled up some of the sieved compost at the end of a couple of the beds waiting to be spread about. There is a huge cat at the plots who obviously likes newly sifted soil for his "convenience"! He had used the compost pile at the end of the beet bed. I cleared away his mess, raked flat the compost layer, then sowed some carrots and netted them against the cat!
The carrots are "Nantes Frubund (Fast Crop)" from Thompson and Morgan. They are for autumn planting and promise a crop in the spring...April onwards. An experiment but it'll be interesting. I sowed them very sparingly....to save thinning them, and have some left to sow a row or two in the tunnel for when it isn't very nice weather for the plot.
The bed behind the beetroot bed was onions earlier in the year. I dug it over today and made some troughs and filled them with sieved compost, and sowed (very thinly) 10 short rows of carrots. I was going to net it with some of that white anti-root-fly netting but forgot the clothes pegs with which to attach them to the hoops.....so I have just netted them for now to stop puss from using this area next!
I was a bit fed up to see that something had been nibbling my new Brussels sprout plants, and disturbing the cabbage collars. I wasn't sure what was doing the damage so I have now netted these and slug pelleted too. Hope that is enough to curb the pest!
Here is a view of the far end of the plot....as you can see I am slowly getting there. The bed in the middle of the picture is the Desire potatoes which I will be digging up as needed. The one behind that is the courgettes which we are still picking. The one in the foreground wants digging over, as well as the long one at the bottom of the plot (lower left hand corner). This was the sweetcorn/squash bed all summer and needs a good weeding. The paths between all these beds also need a lot of attention.
As well as all that heavy work I also trimmed the windbreak hedge that is behind the compost heaps and the shed. The trimmings await bonfire curfew to end....we can't burn anything until October. Some ignore this "law" but I can't as my plot is next to the flats and someone would be bound to have a window open. I usually check before lighting up, but will wait until they really can't moan.
Before I came home I picked the raspberries. This area of the plot also needs a bit of clearing up, and the comfrey along the fence (which has been a great success) needs cutting for the compost again.
I am now itching to get on with the last two beds to get them winter ready, but the garden at home also needs some attention, so it'll have to wait........! I want to "green manure" them as they aren't needed until next spring. The only thing left now to plant at the plot before winter is the broad beans, and they will go in the courgette bed when I clear that.