Friday, 20 March 2009

Starting the container veg patch

Having bought four 30L bags of multi-purpose peat-free compost from Lidl's earlier in the week (1.99 each), I wheel barrowed them round to the allotment yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day and I made the most of being self-employed and shuffled my tasks around to free up the afternoon for gardening.

There is a patch of my allotment that we covered up with carpet several years ago when it became clear we couldn't get everything under cultivation at the same time. Bit by bit we reclaim the ground under the carpet but in the meantime I stick growbags and containers on top of the carpet and at least get some use out of the space. Yesterday I emptied 3 bags of compost into 3 potato growing bags. I had won the bags last year from Edwin Tuckers - they have a monthly photographic competition for photos of vegetables and I entered my picture of broad beans and a sprig of savory. The first use I made of them was to try to grow second cropping potatoes, planting them in August for a harvest at Christmas. Well, that didn't work particularly well. Blight was rife in August and they quickly succumbed so all I got out were a few marble sized things sometime in December. Ho hum, try again next year I suppose, if the summer is better. Then Steve accidentally melted a hole in the side of one of them on Firework's night! These things happen.

Anyway, I digress... 30L only half fills the potato bags but that doesn't matter because I can top them up with more compost as the potatoes grow, to earth them up. The last 30L I emptied into two plastic trough planters and in each of these I plant 6 shallots. I grew onions in these troughs last year and they were the best I got.

So now I have used up my stocks of compost and will have to buy some more at the weekend to refill the other containers and for sowing some seeds. In the meantime I think I'd better make use of the sunshine and get some more tidying up and preparation done.

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