Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Crop Rotation Problems = Murdered Parsnips

Monday was a fairly nice day weather wise so finally the allotment got some attention! I had been meaning to begin reorganising the plot using the plan I wrote about here. When I arrived it quickly became apparent the task wasn't going to be as straightforward as I had thought. Instead of just turning up, digging over some new beds, creating some new paths then sitting down with a cup of tea - I realised there are still plants yet to be harvested where I wanted to dig. This was an extremely stupid oversight.

Anyway... I figured I would begin at the shed and work from bed 1 to 8 (as on the new plan). This works out quite well as bed 1, 2 and 3 are going to have potatoes in, which I think (please correct me if I am wrong) are the first seeds to be planted direct. Unfortunately this bed at the moment still contains leeks and parsnips. Both of these crops can be harvested well into the new year - March for parsnips and May for leeks. So I ask you this; How do I factor this into crop rotation? The Roots & Onion bed should become the Potato bed the following year, and as I understand it, ideally should have manure applied in the autumn prior to planting the potatoes. This problem also arises in other beds where there is still a fair few plants that are yet to be harvested.

Twisted parsnips and an imposter

After thinking about this for some time I decided I would dig up some of the parsnips and leeks that were in my way and just work around those that remained. I suppose having some parsnips and leeks to eat this week really isn't that much of a problem. Well, I thought I had dug up all the parsnips that would be in my way. But every so often I could here a a crunch as I sliced through a parsnip that was hidden below the ground with no foliage above. The parsnips we have gathered intact are generally pretty small anyway, and extremely deformed (is this due to our stony soil?) but it was still very annoying.


I managed to dig over what will be bed 1 and weed around the remaining leeks. Then turned my attention to behind the shed where I hope to have a composting area. It is a bit of a mess at the moment and is going to need some work.

Compost area / fly tipping

The weather looked like to was going to take a turn for the worse. So I packed up and inspected my days work. It really didn't look much! I could really do with having a week off to dedicate to getting the plot ready.

There will be a path running through those leeks