News From The Allotment:

Potatoes: We have had much success with the potato crop we have sown. We chitted them indoors before planting them outside – since then they have grown well and we have covered them several times with earth to encourage them to grow more. We have lots of little earth potato mounds!

Grass land management and overall appearance of allotment: We have been improving and tidying up the Allotment. We took a look at turf cutters for trimming the area. A Turf Cutter (like this from Nixon Hire) seem quite good for clearing up untidy places! Also we have a brush-cutter and I have my certificate in brush-cutting, so will get out there in the next few days to do a session to get the grass down and more manageable. Additionally, creating more labels for our plants will make the allotment look more structured and tidy!

Plants: The tomato and pepper plants are doing well and looking healthy. We hope to plant some beetroot soon as the weather has been more consistent.

Weather and Pests: We have been having wet weather consistently and therefore have had a huge number of slugs eating our lettuces! Therefore, we have been using all methods to deter slugs from our produce! I have used coffee and coffee mulch around the plants to deter slugs and have made a ‘beer trap’ to catch the slugs (they get drunk and cannot get out!). These both seem like good deterrents. However, copper is supposed to be good as it gives them a small shock and also increasing toad numbers nearby so they eat the pestering slugs! The RHS have good advice on how to protect your crops from slugs too!

All for now – keep an eye out for Black Forest Smallholding news, recipes and chutney making soon : )

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