Allotment peas and progress

Believe it or not, this is what I call progress! This huge, ugly charred space is (probably) going to be the home of the peas, when we’ve had a chance to dig it. It might not be where the peas go, they might go into a slightly smaller but better dug area on the other side of that mass of rubble we are laughably calling a path, in which case this will become the area in which I grow lettuce, fennel, leeks and kale as a kind of edible lawn, all jumbled in together.

There are only two ways to work an allotment as overgrown and neglected as #103: rotavate or slash and burn. We’ve opted for slash and burn, after experiencing the downside of rotavation on our former plot, which left us with endless hours of hand-digging couch grass and horribly invasive horseradish which, once the roots are chopped up, can be as difficult to get rid of as dandelions. Slash and burn is only possible if you have an allotment site where bonfires are allowed, and as we can only have open bonfires in the winter, we have to work fast whilst still trying to preserve as much of the wildlife that might be overwintering in the long grass and brambles as we can, so it’s important to slash a couple of days beforehand, and to leave an undisturbed area nearby that won’t be burnt or walked over, so that anything that does migrate from the slashed area can resettle itself quickly.

The peas are waiting, germinating beautifully in their biodegradable pots in the unheated greenhouse at home. It’s just a question of getting the ground ready with peasticks and some fleece to cover them, because we get our worst frosts in February in East Sussex, so this mild spell is simply a ruse to try and trap the unwary into thinking that the weather is on the up. It’s not.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, February 7, 2011


Anonymous Damo said...

Your peas are coming up nicely haven't sown mine yet!

February 7, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous allotments4you said... have your peas in really early...I sow mine straight into the ground...and not for a couple of months yet.

You are lucky you are allowed bonfires...they were banned on our plots a couple of years ago.

February 8, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Plantaliscious said...

That is definitely progress! I know, because I have just taken on a new allotment and have been working my way through digging out the couch grass by hand reminding myself that the Rotavator is NOT the answer, but will just store up trouble. Your peas look lovely and am sure will soon be nestled happily in their new home - wherever that turns out to be! I find myself waking up in the night wondering if I should change the current plan of what goes where.

February 9, 2011 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Damo - I prioritise my peas!

Tanya - see comment to Damo. I know, bonfires are wonderful.

Plantiliscious - oh gosh, I do that too! I currently have 5 different plans and an other half who is thinking of emigrating to somewhere that is mainly desert or concrete!

February 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM  

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