Something we have noticed is that allotment addiction is contagious. As we babble on to others about the lovely time we have up the allotment and people can see how happy it makes us, we are finding that they are up for coming along with us. At first people thought we were a little bit crazy/weird/eccentric or perhaps ‘old before our time’. But now they can see they were completely and utterly mistaken. But we won’t hold it against them…
A good friend of ours came down to the allotment with us yesterday. He is a hard-working, conscientious, focused team-player. He is a professional gardener and we were lucky to have his experience and knowledge with us. He reads this blog….
Also, our friend likes fires.
He allocated himself the task of waste disposal. We had two large compost bins full of brambles that we had cleared from the plot when we took it on. The brambles were now dry, so our friend advised us that he should ‘burn em proper’. He is from Bristol (as is Beener).
We are allowed fires on our allotment, as long as they are kept under control and are not smokey. He dragged the brambles to the end of the plot away from the houses. Th brambles were dry so we were confident that they would not create too much smoke. Our friend also effectively got the fire very hot, very quick. He really is good and he was a little bit disappointed when he had run out of waste to burn. We had to tell him several times that our spare wooden pallets did not need to be burned!
After we had restarted working after a spot of lunch, we looked over at our friend and thought ‘what the hell is he up to now?’ He was placing piles of ash and ember on various parts of our allotment. ‘Oi’ we said. He explained that he was placing the ashes over the stumps and roots of some brambles that we had not lifted out yet. He said this will weaken the plants. Brilliant – we thought – fighting bramble invasion with hot bramble waste. It might be a little bit crazy – but we like it.
Next time we’re down the plot we are gonna pile up the ashes and use them around plants as a slug deterrent. They really don’t like the dryness or texture of it. You have to put quite a lot on, not to everyones aesthetic tastes, but its fine with us. We have also added some ash to areas of the plot that can only be described as boggy, adding some bulk and dryness to these areas. Finally, if we can be bothered we really should cover up the pile of ash, as it does add potash to the soil, which is essential for fruiting and flowers. If you leave the ashes exposed to the rain and the elements, the potash will leach out very quickly.
We don’t like wasting things as you can see..