Tuesday, 12 May 2009

learning the hard way

Because allotmenting (is that a real word?) is so new to us, we tend to get very excited about the smallest amounts of growth in the plants and I've taken to recording this achievement on a weekly basis by taking photos of everything. I then upload these on the laptop at home and compare this week's photos with last week's (how sad am I?)

Last weekend I was a bit puzzled. Potatoes are going great guns, as are the onions, beans, peas, carrots (so much so they needed strict thinning out), even the sweetcorn and spring onion both of which were only planted a week before. However, the lettuce were looking very sad indeed. They had been in 3 weeks now and didn't appear to have grown a millimetre - very strange. We had been very careful with their treatment; well nourished bed, fleecy cloches to protect from the wind and frost, regular watering. It just didn't add up.

Anyhow, Cloddigger decided to consult our allotment guru (Deb) who was able to reveal that lettuce are "top feeders" - I thought this applied to marine life, but anyway - therefore spread their roots just under the surface of the soil rather than sending down a big tap root. The penny dropped.

When we planted them up we had kept them in their little cardboard blankets to, so we thought, give them a bit more protection. All we'd actually done was effectively bonsai them, DOH!

So BIG lesson learned there. Will make sure that the next batch of lettuce are extracted from the cardboard tubes before committing them to the soil.

Ah well, its all a learning curve.

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence" (Abigail Adams, 1780)

No comments:

Post a Comment