Today at my allotment I replaced my paths on this year’s potato patch.
I have four rotational beds:
- Brassica’s (cabbages, cauliflowers, kale etc.)
- Alliums and roots
- Legumes (peas and beans)
I have fixed beds in each rotational group, except the potato bed, which is one large bed. This way I ensure that each rotational bed is deeply dug at least once every four years.
Each year I put the paths back on the area I grew my potatoes in. I use a thick weed suppressing membrane for this purpose.
I have paths so I don’t need to stand on the soil, so it doesn’t get compacted. Therefore, I only need to fork over the beds lightly in the autumn. It works for me.
You can see from the photograph below how I do this:
I also dug a trench today to start putting my old peelings, etc. into it. When it is full I will cover it with soil and then I will do the same on the other side of the bed.
At the end of May next year, I will plant my runner beans into this soil. The peelings, etc. will have rotted down by then and it will leave a rich, deep, fertile and moisture retentive soil, which runner beans absolutely love.
Before I left the allotment today I picked some of my sweetcorn.
For the last two years I have had a dreadful harvest of sweetcorn, so this year I planted twice as much as usual, in the hope I would get just a few cobs. Well yes, you have guessed it….I’ve had a wonderful crop this year.
We have been eating the sweetcorn for the last three or four weeks, but I thought it was time to pick some for freezing. Today, I picked thirty seven corn on the cobs.
I was very pleased with my harvest and managed to freeze them within one hour of picking them, in the hope that they would remain as sweet as possible (as the sugars in sweetcorn turn to starch very quickly).
I just blanched them for 5 minutes and put them in bags of six cobs and froze them for another day. When I want to use them I just defrost them at room temperature for three to four hours and then cook them in the normal way.
At the weekend, I made Beetroot Chutney. The recipe was given to me last year by one my good allotment friends, Phil.
This chutney is slightly different to normal chutneys and if you don’t usually like chutneys, then try this recipe as you will probably like it:
900g raw beetroot, peeled and grated
450g Onions, chopped
700g Apples, peeled and chopped
450g Seedless raisins
1 litre Malt vinegar
2 level tablespoons of ground ginger
Put all the ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil stirring all the time.
Simmer for approximately 1 hour until it is soft and pulpy.
Pour into sterilised jars
(Sterilise the jars by putting them into the oven, gas mark 4 for 5 minutes)
Label the jars and then leave them for approximately 3 weeks before opening.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.