Plot Notes

A personal journal, open for the world to read, recording the progress of a novice allotmenteer on his allotment.

Weed it and reap.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Muck on my mind

My farmer friend Richard (or rather farmer's wife Janice) from the next village has kindly offered me a load of farmyard manure. I can have it as soon as I'm ready for it.

I was going to leave it until after all the topsoil and raised bed work has been completed by the site contractor later this month but I have been having second thoughts and wondering if it would be better to get the manure spread now so that the contractor can lay the topsoil over it and then rotivate. I have noticed that a few plot-holders have already had some enormous steaming heaps delivered ready to be worked-in by the contractor.

On reflection I think I will wait. My reasons for this:-

1. I can make sure the manure is really well rotted before digging it in. I have heard that if it is too fresh it can raise the acidity of the soil and cause damage to seedlings.
2. I can put it where it will be most needed rather than having it spread over all of the plot, paths and all.
3. I have read somewhere that some root-crops do not perform well in newly manured beds, so I can leave bed rotation options open until I have worked out where everything is going.
4. The new topsoil will hopefully be good enough to produce decent crops in any event.
5. Once the raised beds and other structures are in place I can keep the manure in the compost bins or on a corner of the plot until I need it.
6. I don't think I'll have time to organise delivery before the contractor arrives back on site.

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