End of July on the Allotment
July has been a very wet month, and the temperature has hovered around 18C. Ed and I fell behind on weeding at the start of the month as it was too wet to spend much time at the allotment, but by the end of the month I feel like we’re on top of it again, for the time being. This first year is very weedy because we dug over the whole plot between October and February to clear the rubble, remove bushes, and generally clear up years worth of neglect. Every year out from the big dig the weed pressure should reduce as we won’t be disturbing the soil and exposing the seed bank to light in the same way.
The back of our plot has very poor soil. It was dark and overgrown with perennial weeds, and the ground was very rocky until we cleared it and made bed borders with reclaimed wood we pulled off the plot. The soil isn’t good enough to grow crops in, I’ve tried and they grow so slowly because of the poor soil that the slugs eat the plants faster than they can recover. To fill the beds for the season and generate lots of organic matter for our compost, I’ve planted a mixture of buckwheat, crimson clover and phacelia in the beds at the back of our plot. The plan is to let them go to seed so that I can collect the seed for future sowings. If any of the seed self sows it’s not a problem, I can always pull volunteers out when it comes time to plant these beds with main crops. So far the buckwheat and phacelia have grown very well and very quickly. The clover has been slower to take, but I’m hoping it will catch up once we have some sunny days.
I staked the taller cosmos plants with hazel rods, and tied them in. As they grow taller I will throw some string around the whole lot to help them ride out high winds and keep standing upright until the autumn frosts fell them. Fingers crossed for lots of flowers.