Saturday, 12 May 2012

Micro-Allotment : First Harvest

In the 5 years or so since we've lived on the barge, we've grown flowering plants and some vegetables/herbs in pots. This year we decided to step it up a little by creating a micro-allotment on the main cabin roof.

I started by building a couple of beds out of some plywood left over from refitting the interior of the boat. These are both 4' x 2' x 1' to get the most out of the 8' x 4' ply sheets.

They're filled with compost from the Local Authority Recycling Centre nearby, over a layer of worm compost from our wormery which sits on the front deck near the anchor winch.

To the right of this picture is the sedum that we had left over from the green roof.

Jarvis the cat has been very helpful - he hasn't dug up the seedlings, and hasn't used the beds as a giant litter tray.

We quickly filled these plywood beds with onion sets and short rows of seeds : carrots, radishes, spring onions, beetroot (yuk), and rocket.


 So we combined with a group of our neighbours and bought some fabric 'grow-beds' from Marshalls. There are now around 15 of these beds dotted around the marina, and we joined the Mayor's Capital Growth scheme as 'Poplar Dock Micro-Allotments'.

This bed contains strawberries, mange-tout peas, lettuce varieties and a few cauliflowers grown from seed. The idea is to catch-crop and make the best use of the limited space.

Despite the wet, cold and quite gloomy weather, the seeds in trays are growing faster than we can plant them out. We're giving away seedlings to anyone passing (whether they want them or not!!) - luckily, we're not the only boaters here who are desperate to garden, and to show that it's possible to grow food with NO land whatsoever.

 I'll be blogging more about the micro-allotment as the Summer progresses. Also, Herself has seeded one of the fabric beds purely with bee-friendly wildflowers, and this will probably warrant an entry of its own. (If only we could keep a beehive too...)

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