20 October 2008

Autumn = Leaves and Manure

Bright (!) and early on Sunday morning, I set off to await the manure delivery I was sharing with my allotment neighbour Dan (on plot no 1). Farmer arrived 15 mins late due to a 'heavy night', and I can't say I envied him the job as he had several more deliveries to make! Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be as well rotted as last year, it was certainly smellier. On the plus side that meant it was lighter to shift than last year.

More than one barrow load...
After the disappointment of just how little leaf mould was actually produced from last years leaf collection, I've decided to scale up 'production'. Chris from one of the neighbouring allotments gave me a couple of old builders sacks to try out the 'pub theory' (see previous entry) and ever since I've been trying to fill them. Approximately 20 bin bags of leaves later, they're almost full - and that's not counting the old leaf basket that I've also filled again.

Fortunately Sheffield is very green and has lots of mature trees. I decided to check out the nearby (posh) tree lined suburbs for supplies. This was going very well (so long as you ignore the strange looks!) until I was driving round them and struggling to find any leaves. They either paid someone to come and take them away or the council beat me to the clearing them up. So I had to do a bit more driving than I thought I would but think I'm just about there now. It also amazing at just how heavy a bin bag full of wet leaves can be when you've squeezed as many as possible in there.

The leaf bags are at the top of the plot just above the top bed. There's plenty of room there and a couple of comfrey plants growing there. After watching Gardener's World the other night I decided to relocate my other (larger) comfrey plants up to this spot as well. This will be the second move in two years for the comfrey plants, but they didn't seem to mind the move last year. They could also probably cope with being split as well. The only reason I can think of for not moving it, is that it is doing a good job at containing the Jerusalem artichokes in the corner of the plot they are currently in.

"Why does the car smell of beer?"
After dropping the mother in law off at the station I then spent the next half an hour getting lost in the new ring road system, trying to avoid fines for going down bus gates, getting stuck in traffic, etc. all in an attempt to find the local brewery to pick up some spent hops for the plot. When I eventually got there loaded up the boot with a few bags which I then took straight to the plot, putting one on the compost heap and the rest as a mulch on part of next years brassica bed. Now there is a the combined smell of beer and manure at the top of the plot. Lovely.

I planted the garlic, this year putting it in two rows at opposite ends of the bed, so be interested to see which is best. I used a couple of bulbs harvested this year. I know you're not really supposed to do this, but I did it last year and the garlic did really well. The cloves were really big as well so fingers crossed, as ever.

Dug over another few metres of the bed that's going to be home to next years brassicas, incorporating the remains of last years manure - definitely well rotted now.

Sadly no picture for this one as the battery was completely dead when I came to take the pictures ;>(

No comments: