It’s almost time to harvest all the lovely things on my allotment. Even though I look forward to picking fresh food and cooking it, I do feel a pang of sadness to see bare earth staring back at me this time of year. Soon my belly and larder will be full but the allotment will look tired and dull as a consequence.
Being a new allotment I had a lot to do this year, and with little time in which to prepare all the necessary ground to keep winter Brassica happy I’m afraid I missed the boat. Popping to the allotment to pick sprouts and cabbage for Christmas dinner would have been so lovely to achieve this year, but I must remember how far the plot has come and not be disheartened.
It’s September and I have much more ground worked over and available to plant in, having missed out on growing crops to harvest in winter I’ve turned my attention to growing Brassica through winter to harvest early spring when little else is available, filling the hunger gap and using up bare ground. I decided to buy plug plants of spring cabbages and cauliflowers to plant out now (I’m sowing back-ups in the greenhouse at home as well as a year round cabbage to use for spring greens).
I planted them all out on Thursday, it began raining heavily after I’d watered them in but at least the soil got a good soaking, the plants will settle better this way. Allotment folk always think about their crops first!
All my little Brassica are tucked up in the soil underneath a DIY frame to hold very fine mesh netting (canes pushed into plastic bottles), this should keep the pigeons off and hopefully cabbage root fly out. I haven’t used collars which might prove to be a bad decision, time will tell and I’ll obviously learn from it. My other worry is slugs. I’ve ordered Nemaslug and will apply it when it arrives. Do you have tips (organic only please) that work for you?