So with expert precision, a bottle of water, soil sample and test kit we shook it all up and waited patiently for the sediment to separate and show us what way our soil was......please be green...please be green...
.........it was yellow/orange...indicating we had acidic soil. So our plan of action began. We will have to get some garden lime to spread on the soil and hopefully bring our acid soil to a more neutral level. This is particularly important for brassicas such as cabbages, cauliflower, sprouts and broccoli, all of which have yet to go in. Brassicas don't like acid soil and it can harbour the clubroot fungus which will damage your crop, and cabbage can develop a condition known as whiptail where the leaves fail to develop properly around the stalks. So we will dig over the brassica beds before sowing/planting out and dust with some garden lime and see how we go. This however leaves us with quite a predicament. As we got the allotment late in the season, we haven't manured the beds and were planning on using manure as a top dressing during the growing season and supplementing with a feed. Problem is when you mix lime with fertilizer or manure you get urea formed as a by-product which really smells and isn't very good for your crops. The lime and fertilizer also cancel each other out so you don't get the effect of reducing the acidity as well. So, we'll try liming before we sow and plant out the brassicas and hold off feeding for a month or 2 to give the lime some time to soak in and hope for the best when we do apply a feed. I only hope we won't get complaints from neighbours about 'smelly' plot 103.
Late on Sunday evening Cillian and Eoin quit digging for the day and just had to try out their new fishing rods in the river at the back of plot 103. After an hour or so their catch came to a grand total of....a rather damp stick!
However, we did get some inside information from one of our allotment neighbours that another allotment holder had gone a little further up river and caught a total of 16 lovely brown trout in one day!! and another 12 the day after!! I 'kind of' learned how to cast fish and will therefore be heading down to Lidl this Saturday to try and pick up one of the cheapo trout fishing rods for 25 euro and try the new spot at the weekend. Keep the BBQ warm I plan on bringing home a whopper!!!