Tuesday, May 03, 2016

South West Bed


Another couple of hours and this will be ready for planting. No need to dig: it's been hoed and shoveled and it's very well aerated, the way flour is when you sieve it into a bowl for pancakes. And it's very good soil. I used the rake to get it level. Another rake when it's dried out a little more, and it just be pretty close to the fine tilth I'm after. Giving me a taste of what no-dig will be like: plenty of work with the rake - good for abdominal muscles.

That's the good news. The bad news is, I must've thrown-over some of the earth from the old greenhouse area, because there were a few of last year's decomposing onions lurking. The story is, The Predecessor in the last few years only grew onions. I know this because I found onions growing when I took it over, and people have told me. Perhaps because onion sets are easy to plant and more-or-less look after themselves, growing not too badly despite the weeds.

I know he grew them in the old greenhouse area, which he used as a kind of walled bed, because I got a crop of them last year. I found onions growing, maybe from previous years, in other parts of the plot. I'd marked out the SW plot as good for allium this year, because it was all nettles. But I've moved earth around all over, you could say I've been rather heedless. The excess from the W side of the old greenhouse has found its way into every corner of the plot.

The practical upshot of which is, if ever a plot needed a break from the allium family, it's this one. And so, as much as we love 'em in our family, no onions this year. A few years ago, at the original Pig Sty Avenue, we had that onion white rot. Although no accusations were thrown, I was pretty sure it was down to a haphazard approach to crop rotation by my Uncle Eddy. The way things have worked out at this plot, it's as if the whole allotment has had onions growing on it for years.  So it's better to go without allium for this year, than to get the dreaded white rot, and maybe have to go 20 years without.

I've got three bags of onion sets, but I only paid 49p each for them at Lidl, so it won't hurt to give them away.