I’ve put the allotment to bed

Yesterday morning I went over to water the allotment and the bugs had moved in. Three days. That’s all it took. So I know that even though it’s still spring – summer bugs are here.

Fortunately I had harvested most veggies.  But I still had some kale which the caterpillars were revelling in and fighting amongst themselves to see who could eat the most. I had a couple of kohlrabi still to harvest and they were covered in a heaving mass of little white critters. Fortunately the turnip part of the kohlrabi was ok and I just stuck it under the garden tap and they were as good as new.

I have nothing to complain about because this last season, all through winter, has been my best harvest yet since I took over this allotment three years ago. I’ve frozen some veggies, I’ve pickled others, made chutneys, and I still have some left in the crisper in my fridge. I will not starve Dear Reader.

So I have decided to put the allotment to bed for the summer.

I have been working on it for a week or so, adding manure, used coffee grains, lawn clippings and veggie scraps so yesterday I finished the job off with a sprinkling of rock dust to add the necessary minerals. I gave the whole thing a good drenching with the hose pipe which will (hopefully) start it all breaking down – thanks to the piles of horse poo.

Then I used a bale of sugar cane mulch to cover the whole allotment. All eight square metres of it!

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The farm gets in a load and we can buy a bale for $7. A bargain, and it does encourage us to mulch well during the hot months to conserve water. Some of the allotment holders choose to keep going during the summer and this mulch keeps the ground cooler and at a more even temperature.

This is what it looked like when I finished the job. Nice and snug under the thick layer of mulch and the worms will do the work of breaking it all down over the next few months.

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My allotment, lying fallow for the summer. The one in the foreground, with the flowers, belongs to my neighbour. Looks like he has the same idea.

As a reminder, this is what my little plot looked like just a few weeks ago. Allotment heaven. You can see why I need to rest the soil during the summer – it must be exhausted!

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Fortunately Beelarong Community Farm never closes (a bit like the old Windmill Theatre) so I’ll join the volunteers working in the community garden throughout the summer. I’ll be blogging about the goings on there as we toil like peasants in the field battling the ravages of the tropical storms, plague and pestilence of a Brisbane summer.  (OK. So I’m a bit of a Drama Queen.)

Happy gardening.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 05:12:28

    SO glad you aren’t going to stop blogging. I have really enjoyed reading your posts since you got back and it’s lovely to read about life in the tropics while we toil away down here in the temperate zone. I envy your growth rate but not your summer bugs. Our winter wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it usually is. I managed to keep pineapple sage alive all winter long, and nothing died of frost (I don’t even think we “got” frost!) and so the white flies lived on all winter long, hiding in the cape gooseberries and when I went out to prune off the sticky bits that were all that was left of the possums predating the outer leaves of the cape gooseberries all winter long, I was greeted by a cloud of white-flies who all rose up in unison and warned me that it was going to be a bit of a tough year pest wise. Oh well…the things we do to get that little slice of veggie heaven and your last image is pure bliss. I love how you have inter-planted all sorts of things together. My kind of garden. I have taken a leaf from your book and have started planting random things everywhere. Last year the pumpkins too over and this year I am going to have a proper garden without having to wade through pumpkins to find it. We didn’t harvest much as the pumpkins killed everything by smothering them so this year I am going to be VERY careful to manage the pumpkins at the top of Sanctuary and not allow them down to the main garden area. It seems so strange for you to be putting your garden to bed when we are just getting ours up and going for the year. It just goes to show what a big wide country we really do live in 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 19, 2014 @ 05:19:22

      Narf I took one look at the allotment yesterday, empty, and wondered how I could continue to blog as I do enjoy writing. But then I thought it might be interesting to record what is happening in the community garden, it’s only a few metres away from my allotment. I love the social side of working in the community garden, and I pick up so much knowledge from the other volunteer gardeners.
      I agree with your comment – who would think we lived in the same country!
      Wishing you a great season in your garden.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Oct 19, 2014 @ 05:44:03

        Cheers Jean, my hard work is just starting and yours is winding down. I am most interested in hearing about how the social side of volunteer gardening goes and I am sure that there are plenty of interesting things that you are going to find out over the coming season that we can all learn from 🙂

  2. tootlepedal
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 08:13:14

    Some views of the surrounding countryside are always welcome too. The idea of putting the allotment to bed for the summer is so strange that I had to read the post twice just to make sure that I had picked it up right.

    Reply

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