Thursday, 17 April 2014

I'm desperate for a pea.

This week at work I had a 'Lightbulb' moment. Not quite a 'Eureka' moment, I'll leave that for the ancient Greeks. But a definite 'Lightbulb' moment. As you may or may not know, I am crop rotating. Six beds, two bed per group, as instructed in my book by Dr. D. G. Hessayon. I've always wanted to grow peas, but until I dig out some more bed, I haven't got the room. Most of the space has been taken up by the onions. Which is great when you think that we have been self sufficient in onions since last harvest time and will continue being so till next year some time. Not so great when there is so much more I would like to grow.

So my 'Lightbulb' moment. When we first got our plot, my wife bought something like a potato grow sack with a frame that sits inside of it for beans to grow up on. Sadly, both the sack and frame are no more. But I do have an old bin, plenty of soil and I'm sure I can find some canes somewhere. So this is what I've done so far. At the very bottom of the bin, about one third full, I put clumps of grass that I have at the back of the shed that needs to rot down. On top of that I put some cardboard, tucking it around the grass to hopefully stop any weeds from coming through. After that I put some topsoil in taking it up to two thirds full and finally, some of my own compost on top. I know it looks a bit of an eye sore, but hopefully in a few months time it will look a whole lot better. I put the perspex on top to protect the peas from the bird and to act as a greenhouse. I have another bin and still plenty of soil, if in a few weeks, if it works, I'll do it all again.

Grass clumps

Cardboard layer

Top soil

Homemade compost
It wasn't only peas that was sown today, some more radishes and beetroots. I'm glad to say that even though the soil looked very clay like, the moment I stuck the fork in, it just crumbled.

Last year I had left my seed planting far too late. The plants grew, but nothing to harvest. This year I'm guilty of being too eager. All my sweet corn and a lot of courgettes just haven't germinated at all. At least I still have time to try them all again.

All morning at the allotment, I could hear a strange noise. Like a crazy chicken. It was getting louder and louder. Then I saw this pheasant just walking along the path. I tried to get closer to get a better photo, but he just ran off like the road runner. Till next time and thanks for reading.


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