October allotment harvest and crop rotation

I’ve managed to dig over the whole of the strawberry bed although this picture shows the halfway point of digging.

The result is a pile of old strawberry plants, with roots as tough and woody as elder, that’s about waist high and over a metre long – seriously that strawberry bed was over-crowded. About a quarter of the bed was grass, which has been impossible to weed out because the strawberries were so closely crowded, so we won’t have that to contend with next year either.

I’ve also got about six strawberry runners potted up to replant in a raised bed, and I’ve ordered another nine plants from a supplier. That will give us two different varieties – ours are rather late so I’ve ordered an earlier cropper so that we can have a longer strawberry season. To be perfectly honest I got fed up with spending so many of the best days of the year picking and freezing strawberries so if I can spread that out a bit it’s better for my mental health!

While I dug the strawberry bed, Himself dug over the area that had held the peas and beans in the summer. This year the broad beans, French beans, peas and petits pois will go into the area where our first early potatoes were planted. The ground in which we had maincrop potatoes (our biggest failure) needs a lot of work to get it truly productive, so we hope to work in lime over the summer and get it ready for next year’s brassicas. And our potatoes will go where the peas and beans were – crop rotatation, not exactly perfect, but pretty good for year 2 on a previously neglected plot, I think.

And we also harvested another trug full of borlotti beans, the last of the beetroot (okay, we missed them and only found them when we were digging over) and a few carrots, as well as some alpine strawberries – still delicious!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, October 20, 2009


OpenID allotments4you.com said...

you seem to have it all worked out with your crop rotation...I think I should probably pay more attention to where I plant stuff so that I can rotate each year.....

October 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

All those weeds in your strawberry patch make me feel better: due to work commitments, my vege garden has grown into a state of alarming disrepair.

October 20, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I can just imagine what your strawberry bed was like if it hasn't been touched in a while. My strawberry bed was only planted up this year, but still took some sorting out after the runners had tangled up and rooted. It's been tidied up now ready for next year.

October 21, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

You've just reminded me that I need to plan next year's rotation. We've got in a bit of a muddle, what with one thing and another.

Lucky you having a glut of strawberries this year - our crop was poor.

October 25, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Tanya, I'm not sure we've got it all worked out and the people who had the plot before us appear to have planted potatoes everywhere, so we could still find we're blight-ridden.

Mark, I'm glad to make you happy.

Jo, we had to take the whole lot out, it was impossible to clear the weeds, but of course we're going to be digging up seedling strawberries for years to come.

Linda, a muddle is okay as long as it's not for more than a year - you just don't want to make any disease or pest endemic in your soil, that's why you rotate so messing up for a year or so doesn't matter at all!

October 26, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

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