To describe the allotment and tiny garden as Threadspider’s Acres is , to say the least, misleading. Threadspider Metres is more like, but doesn’t quite conjure up the sweeping, beautifully manicured estate I have I my head. But this is what we have , so we continue to refer to it affectionately as T’s Acres.
A trip to the aforementioned allotment yesterday yielded more rhubarb, proving the efficacy of a load of old horse manure for invigorating a plant. The manure was carried in the back of my car-in bags, I add, last autumn, 12 at a time, 3 trips. My heavy clay soil said thank you, please can we have more, and even a racing stable would be hard pushed to supply enough. My plot was neglected when I took it on and despite 3 autumns worth of feeding with bulky organic matter, another 3 years similar treatment will barely make much difference.
It looks especially hungry in this dry shot-look at the cracks in the soil! The potatoes had their first earthing up yesterday, the strawberries, foreground, are in flower, in the distance and right, leeks, Japanese onions, shallots and garlic, broad beans and peas under the net cloches and beyond that, on the distant horizon, fruit. There is a bed sown to parsnips and carrots, intercropped with spinach. It was looking good-proper tilth, seedlings through. Excellent. A mole thought so too, so now it is a bed with interesting ridges. And a resident mole. Putting a positive spin on this latest pest-(badgers in the sweetcorn last year) the soil must be sustaining a goodly population of worms for a mole to bother. So that’s good news. We like worms.
Given the stiffness of the clay, the distance from the nearest water point and the fact this is not home, but a local authority site a brisk 10 minutes walk away, I am going to grow most of the salads at home , using Charles Dowding’s no-dig method. Which I will tell you about next time.