It's December on Allotment 41 #4
So what does the allotment look like in December?
I must admit, my commitment to the allotment hasn’t been anything to brag about. Couldn’t bring myself to walk away though, so buried the guilt and renewed my tenancy for 2020. It was only £27 after all, and I really haven’t had a chance to properly get to know my lottie neighbours yet. There are some complicated characters that deserve some time and commitment, just as much as plot 41. I know of at least two who are broken and value a bit of company and light banter.
The winter cabbages seemed to have survived, but it’s rather baren on the allotment. Everyone has been ‘digging over’, but I’m not much of a fan of that. Although some re-designing is in order if I’m going to make a go of this in 2020, so digging is inevitable I guess.
I got the allotment committee approval to set up a wildlife pond a while back, so making use of the bathtub. The earth dug out has gone on top of a raised bed area intended for strawberries next year. I’m copying a very successful technique applied by a lady at the end of the site. She still had strawberries in late November. She constructed a raised bed grid so that the water can drain off and keep the plants dry, but easily supply the root system. Keeps the straw dry as well. Magic.
So I’ve spread out the compost mound (mostly mulch) and used the outer trench soil and soil from digging the bath pit to cover the mulch. I’ll let that all settle over January before setting out the grid trenches and planting more strawberries. Hopefully, the close proximity of the pond will mean I’ll have plenty of frogs nearby to tackle any slug and snail issues.
Allotment Wildlife Pond
As for the bathtub wildlife pond. I’ve kept the edge height raised about six inches above ground level to avoid flooding. The soil is sloped around the edges. The intention is to use a pond liner (left over from the back garden) and install an easy access/exit slope or shelf at one end. Not sure what I’m going to plant in there, I’d like it to be edible whatever it is, but I’m definitely getting oxygenating plants, a water lily and a solar-powered pump and fountain to keep the water moving. The last thing I want is a mosquito pit and stinky stagnant water. I would not be popular.
So now I’ve used up the compost mound, rather than start another I’ve moved a compost bin from my back garden onto the allotment. An unexpected bonus was when I cleared the area I found buried a raised-bed frame. Which I’ve assigned as a salad leaf raised-bed. Probably. Happy days.
So there we have it. I’m committed. The garlic is in, red and white onions are showing signs of life already and once Christmas is out of the way it’ll be time for chitting the first early spuds. I’ve also got my eye on bare-root raspberry plants for summer harvesting. Maybe an apricot tree but I’ll have to see what finances are like in January first though. Far too easy to plan all these great intentions, without considering the bank balance.
Do stay in touch, and ‘Keep It Green’.