Saturday 31 January 2009

Planning for Rotation

One week in and the 'flu has struck. What bad timing over the weekend! I had intended to give some details of my plans, so here goes.

The picture shows the scheme I am following. The plot is divided into 4 zones (The black patch is the greenhouse and the grey strip is the path that divides the plot from end to end.)

The uppermost shaded zone is the strawberry patch and is not included in the rotation. The other three zones (1 to left of path and 2 to the right of it) are host to a different group of vegetables. The three groups are 'Others', 'Brassicas' and 'Roots'. For any one zone the order, year on year, is Others/Brassicas/Roots (O/B/R). The reason for this is that Others require fertility in the form of well rotted manure, Brassicas require fertility and lime and Roots should not have recent additions of manure (or the roots will fork), or lime. So if you are going to add manure once every three years it should be to the Others zone for that year. Given the expense and effort involved it is sensible to manure only a third of your plot each year. (This year I am feeding both the Brassica and the Other zones because the whole plot has been starved for a couple of years since the last application of manure.)

Now all I need is to spend the estimated 4-5 hours required to finish manuring this year's Brassica zone (long thin unshaded area to the left of the path) and the "Others" (unshaded zone to the right of the path). Where's the Lemsip?

Monday 26 January 2009

2009 A Year in an Edinburgh Allotment

This space is devoted to a calender charting the progress of my plot.

Here's what it looks like today (well yesterday actually).
A bit of background. I've had a plot for many years but it is across town from my home so I tend to it at weekends only in the winter. With work and family commitments it has been a bit neglected, but I have learnt strategies to cope with the plot while spending as little time there as is available. This year I am commiting to spending enough time to bring a reasonable return for the effort I put into it. Like most New Years resolutions, this one may fall by the wayside. Perhaps. But watch this space.