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.

13 comments:

Andrea said...

Hi Linda,lets hoping your visit to the plot is full of good suprises!!

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

How do you find digging in the green manure in spring?

Janet said...

Linda, your broadcast sowing was better than mine. And then the hens took a liking to the clover.... You can have a look at mine on a recent post http://planticrunotes.blogspot.com/2011/10/green-houses-green-manure-green.html

Janet at Plantaliscious has also blogged about it.

So is the jury still out on green manure?

Mark Willis said...

The hardest part of that Green Manure thing is yet to come - the digging-in. Is the white mustard also a green manure, or is that for eating?

GretchenJoanna said...

Linda, what is strimming?
I'll look forward to hearing how things stood at the plot!

Diana said...

Hello, Linda. I don't know where the summer went. It seems I planted seeds, harvested and now I'm cleaning the garden. You encourage me to do a better job of planting some cover crops... seem to miss doing that but with the best of intention. Hope all is well in your beloved Scotland.

Why I garden... said...

I've never used green manure. My soil gets quite compacted, not sure if green manure would break it up or make it more compacted?

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

At least you got lots of your green manure to germinate! I had total failure with broadcast sowing of rye grass and red clover. Maybe I should have chosen white clover. I am nerving myself for another trip to the plot to see how well the weeds are colonising the bare soil, the bare soil that was supposed to be covered in a lovely blanket of green manure by now...

Peggy said...

Hi Linda, we have sown various green manures this year too and they are growing well if slowly. lansburgh winter mix can be sown up to Oct and left for the winter, my neighbour grew it last year and strimmed it back before digging in.He said it was quite easy to dig in as the manure had kept the ground covered and soft.Fingers crossed!

cathy@home said...

learning new things everyday.

Linda said...

Thanks for all the comments. I will post an update soon.
I'm still half-converted to green manure. Just not rye. The phacelia I sowed last year was very vigorous, wilted back with the frost, and left a weed-suppressing layer on the ground all winter.

Strimming is cutting grass with a line trimmer/weed whacker - I don't know what the other terms for it are. A handy little gadget which makes a lot of noise.

donna said...

Linda, you manage to make green look like the most beautiful color in the world.

Now I know what to give all the men on my Christmas gift list. I shall make them hats from my fungi. Thanks for the tip!

donna

Orkneyflowers said...

Wondering how the visit went........?

Hopefully well. Look forward to your next post.

Fay