The idea of digging up all the raspberries, deep weeding, replanting raspberries through cardboard and mulch…. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages but always found something else to do instead. Today I nearly did it, I compromised, kept the raspberries where they were but did cover the clear soil areas with cardboard and mulch. The deep weeding didn’t take place, but hopefully the weeds (bind weed mostly) will suffer by being mostly covered over.
Before even that I bumped into another plot holder who had not seen for quite some time, I thought he had given up as his plot had not been touched for quite a while. It turned out that he had moved to another larger plot (he had half of a half plot, which really is quite small) further on down the hill. He took me for a tour and he had lucked out with mature fruit trees and quite a large plot. Apart from a good chat, he was looking for someone to offload some unwanted bits, so I walked back to my plot with some blue water piping (loops for fleece/netting tunnels) and some over winter onion sets.
I finally got started but put off the raspberries until I had sorted the compost heap. It was starting to look a bit slimy and so I had bought up some shredded cuttings from last weekend when I cut down shrubs in the garden. Most of the shredded cuttings were not suitable but I had collected a back of what would be brown material to add. I forked the heap out and put it back mixed up a bit and mixed up with some of the woodier garden material. I also pulled out some of the half composted broccoli stalks, chopped them up and added them back in. I always see the compost heap as more of a place to put rubbish with the expectation that after a number of years you might have something you can add back in to the ground, whereas some heaps are really industrial in activity, and clever with it.
The end result here looked pleasing.
Checking the garlic showed a lot of bulbs were sprouting but a lot also had been picked out of the ground. I spent a bit of time popping them all back into place. Around the allotments in general there seemed to be lots of new little holes dug in the ground, along the paths and such like. While standing still I did spot a rat running about, it seems they are a bit active at the moment.
I did get to the raspberries after that. Laying cardboard down and mulching the raspberry canes with manure. I did dig two or three up (saved wrapped up to give away) in order to keep a straight line. It was good to finally start this bit of work although I need more manure to finish it off next week.
We left the plot with a small winter harvest:
- the last of the swedes
- a couple of turnips
- millions of sprouts, with the aim to freeze most of them
Before we left I planted the winter onions I had been given, a bit of an unexpected bonus.