I love Poundland. Every allotment owner really needs a local pound shop.
Their incredibly cheap tent pegs hold down the weed control fabric. Their ‘bamboo edging’ quickly disassembled into a large supply of plant labels, and their secateurs may only last six months before they break or blunt, at least I can just leave them in the shed and not worry about them going walkies.
They also do plants, with varying success. We have a very nice gooseberry bush at home that came from there, and some sort of small blackberry-like thing too. It’s not always successful; I’ve tried a rose and raspberries from there too and they’ve just vanished without a trace, but for one pound I figure it’s worth a punt.
So on the allotment we now have three shiny new roses, which will bring some colour during the summer and (with any luck) hips come autumn – if any of them survive. You don’t get much in the way of choice (or information) at Poundland, so that’s two “yellow bush” and one “white bush” rose. Hopefully they’ll make it!
After finishing off the major digging projects of the winter, I’m starting to move onto other tidying jobs.
This week I’ve manages to clear all the grass from around the long-suffering loganberry bush. It’s often fairly productive, but as it’s also unkempt and overgrown it isn’t very easy to crop.
My masterplan this year is to stake out it’s branches quite a long way along the bed – maybe as much as 10 feet – over weed membrane. The hope is that (a) it will cover more ground, and (b) make cropping a whole lot easier.
As you can see from the buds, all this work is happening not a moment too soon thanks to the ridiculously early arrival of spring!
A couple of years ago, I randomly moved some rhubarb that I’d found – 6 or 8 plants from across the plot, all brought together in one rather poor, grassy patch because it was the only bit of ground open at the time.
They were never very happy, because they were overwhelmed by the grass, because there weren’t any nutrients in the soil, and because I’d done it at exactly the wrong time of year.
It’s been part of my long term plan to move them to a better location and, with field 2 cleared and composted, I’ve finally been able to do so. They look pretty miserable (not helped by the terrible photo – sorry!) but it should be easier to keep them weed free here, there’s fresh compost and it’s even (sort of) the right time of year to do it.
Although the plants have looked miserable in their old location, their roots were pretty substantial so I’m hopeful that we’ll finally start getting some decent rhubarb crops!