Monday, 2 May 2011

It's darned windy out there

It's bloody windy out there. So on top of the almost complete lack of rain, we now have high winds drying out the soil. Ugh.

Kevin and I spent a couple of wind-blown hours at the lottie this afternoon. In mid-March we had set up a frame for protecting the brassicas. However, the wind rather ruined that. Like many allotment sites ours is very open with little in the way of trees or hedges to help reduce wind damage on the allotment. In fact I'm quite lucky, as I do have a bit of a hedge half-way down on one side, and this will offer protection to the future beds that are not yet planted... Back to the frame; a week after putting it up we returned to find it had gone! A bit of searching found it several lotties over and caught up on someones shed. So we rescued the frame and cover and decided to rethink our plan for protecting brassicas.


Thanks to Kevin, we have hopefully come up with a solution. If you look carefully (ok, very carefully!) at the picture above, you will see that there is some white rope from the top of the middle frame going down into the ground. Kevin has tied this to a brick, and buried it deep down. But not just that. He has used really large tent pegs at each corner and also tied these into the frame, also burying them deep down. The frame now feels quite solid and in place. The cover has gone on, this time a fine mesh cover so that it stops the horrid white cabbage moth but lets in air and rain, if we ever get any rain again... This is the final result.


We are really hoping that this has solved the problem. I'm hoping to drop by on Wednesday afternoon to check if it's still in place. If it can deal with the current winds, then it should be ok!

Before putting on the mesh I planted out some of my brassicas, including the stakes for things like brussels sprout and calabrese, which get tall and will also need staking to stop wind rock. I have learned from experience that it is better to put in the stakes at the same time as puting in the young seedlings. It makes it easier to tie them to the stake as the grow and keeps them steady (preventing wind rock).

Stakes next to the young brassica seedlings

Because of the dry and windy weather, I'm planting seedings in a bit of a dip. This is to help contain some of the moisture and give a little protection against the wind whilst it is still quite fragile. This, by the way, is a theory of mine I'm trying out. Time will tell if it actually helps or makes a difference!

By the time we got ready to head home, I thought the lottie was looking pretty good. Strawberries, broad beans and garlic all doing well. Some young chard and spinach just coming up, some brassicas in, as well as some carrots, parsnips and beetroot. And Kevin got another bed ready (the one immediately behind (not beside) the brassica frame) - yay Kevin!

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