Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Productive Day

We were planning all week to visit the allotment for a bit of a tidying-up session on Saturday. It was a bit of a surprise when the temperatures suddenly dropped, after all this mild weather we've had, and we woke up to a fairly hard frost. It was pretty though.

 Young Lamb's Lettuce
Purple Sprouting Broccoli

It didn't put us off - I dug my thermals out and we spent a lovely day at the plot, pruning, weeding and tidying.

First job was to sort the compost out. After failing to spread any last year, we had two bins three-quarters full of decent compost with a layer of newish material on top, and a couple of random heaps elsewhere just because we had nowhere to put them. We forked the uncomposted stuff out of one bin and removed six barrowfuls of lovely compost, then started again with the plot's winter waste and tree prunings at the bottom, the other random heaps, and then the layer of uncomposted stuff from the other bin, leaving us a huge heap of the black stuff very nearly ready to use in the other bin too!

I pruned our two 'spur' fruit trees, confident for the first time that I knew what I was doing, having picked up a little book about pruning over Christmas! I always feel mean cutting them back though - they're so spindly!

The apple tree, on the left, is leaning rather badly after a heavy harvest and strong winds during the summer. I'm not really sure how I should try to straighten it - or whether I shouldn't. Any ideas?

Finally, we decided that since the pond was frozen virtually solid (but the soil was perfectly workable), it would be a good time to dig out our huuuuge clump of horseradish from right beside it. Planting it here was a big mistake and, although I know we will have left roots behind and it'll be back, I'm going to try to get rid of it altogether.

It was hard work, but we got the whole crown out along with several thick roots from beneath. We brought home 5.6 kilos of horseradish! That's a lot of roast beef dinners! I'll have to read up on other uses of the stuff and try to preserve some too.

It was a good day and it felt great to get a head start on the new growing season. I don't think I've ever had such a productive January on the plot before - it has certainly never looked so tidy at this time of year!

 Cotoneaster in the garden


Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

I has certainly been nippy hasn't it but no doubt all that activity kept you warm

Stacy Drury said...

WOW thats one HUNK of horseraddish. I love fresh hoseraddish cream especialy with Smoked fish like haddock or mackrel. I to planted a horseradish plant on our allotment but I soon dug it up after a conversation with one of the seasoned ploters on my allotment.
Great blog BTW.

Nome said...

Sue, it certainly did!

Thanks Stacy! Yes, I made horseradish and smoked salmon canapes on Christmas Day and they were amaaazing! Apparently horseradish keeps potato pests at bay, so I'm thinking of maybe growing it on an annual basis in with my spuds so it's easy to dig up year on year.

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