Allotment strawberry beds

My new strawberry plants arrived in the middle of last week, so I grabbed the chance on Monday to go and plant them out. Okay, that’s not strictly accurate, I skived off work (I work for myself, so I had to explain myself to myself when I got back from the allotment) to take advantage of the good weather, and I’m glad I did because it has rained, non-stop, since then.

I ordered Strawberry Alice because they are late season and I already had runners from our old strawberry bed, which are mid-season, so I hope this will give us strawberries for longer. I’ve decided to plant them in two different raised beds, partly because the way the runners from the old neglected bed (which, let me remind you, was not neglected by us but by the previous allotment owners) had managed to travel at least two yards outside the bed, so anything that limits that rampaging has to be a good thing! Himself put in another two rows of broad beans, which makes five (and I feel sure there should be a joke about how many rows of beans make five, but I can't think how it would go) while I planted the two strawberry beds.

The top of the plot, previously known as the allotment shame, has been rotavated and as I had a new compost bin to install, I got on with that too, turning the compost from bins one and two and setting up bin three. I’m expecting the compost from bin one to be ready in spring, bin two in the autumn of next year, but bin three won’t be ready for a couple of years as it has been started off with a lot of twiggy stuff that came out of the rotavation process.

Now we need to get some weed-suppressing membrane down over the dug area, in the hope of smothering a few of the perennial weeds that will recover from being chopped to pieces in short order. In fact, if you want to propagate bindweed (but who would be so insane?) rotavating it is the best way, as every tiny fragment puts out roots and becomes a new plant. I hope I got most of the bindweed out before the machine arrived but it doesn’t take more than a single length of the disgusting stuff to spread itself right over a lovely newly dug area – especially if the blades have chopped it up and spread it out, all ready to take over!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Blogger Jo said...

Some of my strawberries are Alice. I did the same as you and planted three different varieties to try to extend the harvest. I had a good haul this year.

November 10, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
OpenID said...

the plot is looking great and you obviously had a great day for it...if you don't get any membrane to lay down try old carpet if you can get your hands on worked great for me last year!!

November 11, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Jo, I hope to be as lucky as you.

Tanya, my allotment site recently brought in a rule against carpet and as Secretary I must set a good example!

November 13, 2009 at 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Mal's Allotment said...

I think the joke about broad beans goes something like "How many rows make fava?"

I'm revamping my strawberry patch too. To date I've only grown (Honeoye and I'm very pleased with the results)but now want to extend the season. I started off with two honeoye and now they're everywhere so I've pushed the boat out and bought one each of three different varieties (one middle and two late)! The year after next should be fantastic. Imay yet get a 5th variety 'Marshmello' because of the internet hype about it! Look forward to tracking the progress of your patch.


December 3, 2009 at 1:25 AM  

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