Laying the Foundations
My husband (Ed, you’ll hear me talk about him a lot) and I have had our allotment for nearly 8 years now and we have experienced many highs and just as many lows. This year, to support my wreath making business, I have been allowed to use a small portion of the allotment to grow flowers on. This is a big deal and took a lot of negotiating as Ed is of the opinion that flowers do not hold any value, in that you can’t eat them. Although of course he is totally wrong, because for one you can eat some flowers and two I will make this a success!
Because I really need this year to be successful (otherwise I might have my section taken away by said husband), I have spent a lot of time preparing the soil. This really is critical not only for growing flowers but also for vegetables. However, I’ll be honest and say this has not been our strong point up until now, I’m super keen to see what the benefits to this endless digging and stone removing are.
To start with I spent a whole morning (my first without Arlo) digging over my patch. I dug deep and pulled out all visible weeds and roots that I came across. We have heavy clay soil which is full of gravel stones despite nearly 10 years of removing them, I’m pretty sure they’re multiplying! This makes the soil heavy and cloying when its wet and rock solid when it’s hot and dry, so not the easiest to work with. Luckily, we have had a kind winter, which a reasonable amount of rain, so this made my task slightly easier.
Then we tackled the task of emptying the two compost containers that we have had since we took over the plot. The compost from the middle down was wonderful, crumbly and rich, and was spread over the top of the plot to be pulled down by worms and rot in to the soil. I have also been adding all the ash from our house fire and coffee granules from our stove top pot which has just gone to show me how much coffee we drink (way too much). All of this I am hoping will help to soften the soil and ready it for the teeny tiny seeds that I’ve planted over the past few weeks.
In an ideal world, I would have already sown some seeds in Autumn but, I had a baby and you know life got in the way, so everything will be sown direct in the ground in Spring or started off in the greenhouse first. Fingers crossed I still get some good strong crops this way.
Now I’m going to sit back (with a coffee) and review the millions of packets of seeds I have bought (note the above quote) and plan my plot! More on that later…….