Now that the wet weather has finally given way to spring sunshine, we’ve at last been able to make a start on our new half-allotment. We strimmed it in the autumn, and killed the weeds with glyphosate, but we didn’t manage to dig it before it turned into a quagmire.
In order to make up for lost time, we clubbed together with our next-door allotment neighbours to hire the services of a man with a serious rotavator. The results were instant and highly satisfying:
We didn’t want to lose the rather splendid rhubarb patch that we’d inherited, so we put a border around it. The rhubarb is coming on fast:
To bring the allotment back to life, we need to add nutrients. The soil has been rather neglected in recent years. The first step has been to top up the mineral content. The invaluable Allotments4All forum recommended volcanic rock dust, conveniently sold by B&Q under their “Verve” brand name:
Those who’ve used it suggest that it has almost miraculous results. I’ve scattered it on liberally. You can see the paler colour of the soil in the square at the back right of our patch of ground after the first couple of bags had gone on.
A load of manure should be delivered later this week, which should be enough to get the soil in good shape for this year.
It’ll need to be dug in, of course. We used to have a rotavator of our own, but it was a heavy beast (around 70 or 80kg) and we can now barely lift such a machine into the car, never mind wrestle it over lumpy ground. We gave it to a good cause last year, and we’ve acquired a slightly shabby but very serviceable Honda F220.
This weighs in at under 30kg. I’ve only had a brief play with it, but it’s surprisingly capable for a lightweight. So with luck we’ll have some beds fit for planting in good time for the seedlings that are romping away in frames in the back garden.