Slow painting

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Greening up

How can it be nearly two months since I've last posted here? Our visits to the plot have been almost as rare, with just a couple of kitchen waste runs and a strimming session. Life has got in the way with a vengeance, including that novelty for us of weekends away. But I don't like the separation of life and growing/gardening. We're planning a foray to the plot this morning so that rain forecast for the weekend doesn't get in the way. I actually feel nervous about what we'll find. What will have been the outcome of Weeds v. Green Manure?

The shots here were mostly taken at the beginning of October. Above, my unique green manure patchwork. From the top, phacelia, alfalfa, grazing rye. Below, a close-up of the phacelia and alfalfa. The latter was slow to come through and germinated sparsely. It was probably sowed too late. The light in late August/early September is really waning, so another year I would sow in July.

My medieval peasant seed-broadcasting technique wasn't up to much in the case of the rye, below. Or perhaps the pigeons got the best of it. The seeds are large and although I raked them in they still seemed to shout 'eat me!'

Most successful of all has been the strip of white mustard. Was that because of early sowing, or the fact that this small strip has the best soil of the whole plot, a rich, leaf-mouldy loam due to the annual dump of leaves from the nearby sycamore trees?

Or at least that was the state of play at the start of the month. Who knows what awaits us today?

As well as posting an update this side of Christmas, I really hope to get round some other allotment blogs. I have a lot of catching to do.