Field Allotments at Amerton
By Mrs FM
Herbs & Other
Issues And Going Green.
And Other Climbing Plants.
Alan J Hartley
Wood-Chip And Tidying Up.
With all the extra time on my
hands, due to the continued Lockdown and only partial re-opening of the
Charity where I was a Voluntary Worker, I decided to weed some of my
paths on my Allotment and renew their Wood chip surfaces. Normally we
get a steady supply of Wood-Chip from a darting friend of mine who is a
part time tree surgeon, but I donít think he has been working of late,
so I hunted round for another source. Travelling around my local area
recently in the car I spotted a couple of Tree Surgeons at work with
their lorries and Wood Chippers attached. I stopped briefly to ask what
they were going to do with their waste Chippings and that resulted in
two free loads for the Allotments. The first load was used up by Plot
Holders very quickly and I didnít get a look in as I wasnít ready for
it, but the Second load was much better timed for me. When the chap
offered to drop it off for us he said that we would have to have the
logs that had been tossed in the back of the Lorry with the Chippings. I
agreed and it was duly delivered. It was his mate who actually dropped
it off for us though and he obviously wasnít used to tipping a load,
because he opened up the tailgate, tipped the back and drove off a bit
too quickly. The Chippings spread over about 20 yards of the Car Park
giving me one heck of a job to clear it up! I set to immediately and
with a little help from another Plot Holder it didnít take too long. It
had to be done before the Parish Council could see it, because they
would not have approved of the mess one little bit! After it was all
tidied up I then had to ferret through the large pile to unearth all of
the buried logs! I felt like I was a kid again at one of the old time
Fairs with the Lucky Dip prizes buried in the Barrel of Saw-Dust! There
must have been nearly Ĺ a ton of logs some of which were nice and
straight 4 foot lengths of trunk that were picked out to be used for bed
edging and the rest went for firewood.
My paths hadnít been done for some time and took a bit of effort to
weed, but after that job was finished and the Chippings were all down
and tidy, I decided to dig out my Compost Bin and use the fibrous waste
to mulch my Asparagus bed. The Harvesting of young shoots had finished
back in June and their feathery tops were growing abundantly. However,
they did need feeding up before they die off and go dormant for the
Winter, so firstly I scattered some Chicken Manure Pellets round them
which were then covered liberally with my home made compost. The Pellets
do smell badly so covering them up like this is a good idea and Mulching
is always to be recommended anyway.
My Globe Artichoke patch is right next to the Asparagus and the tops on
those had died down after the earlier harvest in the Spring, so, those
were the next to get attention. You almost have to use Loppers rather
than Secateurs to cut the old woody stems as they are that thick and
then after that was done I weeded around them and gave them a feed of
Chicken Manure Pellets as well.
The Grape vines stretch behind the Artichokes and were running rampant
after a very late start due to the May frosts, so they too had a trim.
Cutting back the excess growth at this time of year exposes the bunches
of young Grapes letting the air and light get to them. As they develop
this will help to both ripen them and prevent mould from developing.
The Early, or Summer Fruiting Raspberries were next for the chop with my
cutting out all of the old stems that had fruited and were now turning
brown leaving the bright green, healthy, new stems that would need tying
in over winter so they can provide the fruit for next year. As usual
there were some underground Runners sprouting up here and there, so I
carefully dug them up as best as I could and potted them. Being in full
growth they will need special attention to get them going and will be
prone to shrivelling up, but with care they should root into the pots
properly ready to be used in the Fundraiser for the Allotments next
Spring. The Autumn fruiting Raspberries will have to be cut down, dug up
and potted after they have finished fruiting in the late Autumn, Winter,
or better still in the Spring.
My Apple Trees were something else that needed attention with the
excessive growth cut back to help the tree form new Fruiting Spurs.
Obviously, I had to cut carefully as the trees had some Apples on that I
didnít want to lose. However, some of the early fruiting ones were ready
to harvest at the start of the month so those were easier to prune.
Elsewhere on my plot I have been doing lots of Harvesting of things like
Courgettes, Tomatoes, outdoor ďRidge Cucumber,Ē Swiss Chard, Beetroot,
Turnips and Potatoes. My Onions were just about ready to dry off at the
end of last month with their tops going down and starting to turn brown.
After fetching them up I finished drying them on trays, in the Sun on my
Yard at home. I have been picking lots of Runner beans and Dwarf French
Beans, but the French Beans will soon come to an end. The season for
these is much shorter than that of Runners. My Herritage Climbing Beans
are coming on nicely, but will follow on later as will the Squashes and
my Red Cabbages that are nearly ready. I donít normally do very well
with most of the Brassicas, but find that Red Cabbages are a bit easier.
They donít seem to be plagued by Cabbage White Butterflies so much for
one thing, although Slugs and Pigeons can be a nuisance.
The Month of August can be a very busy month for the Allotment with
keeping on top of the Weeds, keeping things trimmed and of course lots
of Harvesting, but it wonít be long before Autumn will be upon us and
then it will just be tidying up in preparation for the coming Winter.
There will still be a little Autumn planting though of things like
Japanese Onions, Broad Beans, Garlic, Jerusalem Artichokes, Spring
Cabbage and new Fruit Bushes, or Strawberry Plants.