Throughout May and early June we were pretty focused on preparing sections of ground and getting them planted up every week. The plot seemed vast and trying to get the bare ground covered by our sparse plant’s foliage, before the weeds came back, was a race against time! We used some lengths of cardboard, donated by our friendly neighbourhood supermarket, held down with bricks and soil, to give us some instant paths in between planted sections. As well as helping to give structure to the space and show our various visitors where to walk (and where not to walk!), these paths also help keep the weeds down and will naturally bio degrade! We also used string and wooden posts to define newly planted areas.
We put in two family fruits trees, an Apple and a Cherry, each miraculously giving two varieties of fruit from their twin grafted stems, planted amongst the Greengages. We also put in a row of Black currants, helpfully donated to us by another allotmenteer. Fifteen Strawberry plants were spaced out in semi permanent locations and planted through weed-proof membrane (to help keep the weeds down of course), but also to keep the fruits off the ground and give them a bit of protection.
We also put in out various Squash and Pumpkin plants, surrounded by dried and crushed eggs shells as a slug barrier. What seemed like a small field of Sweetcorn went in, though we are having so little sun it remains to be seen whether they will get enough to produce juicy cobs. We also set up bamboo supports for Runner Beans, with Nasturtiums as companion plants and wig-wams for our Peas. Mixed Brassicas went in, Kale, Cabbages and Broccoli, under a fine yellow mesh to protect them from birds.
It is always a nail-biting time when you arrive the following week after planting to see if your tender young plants have made it and are bigger and healthy or whether they have been attacked by birds or decimated by slugs, with all the rain we are having slugs and snails are a real worry!