Spring has Sprung at Poppy’s Farm – April 2022

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Somehow it’s is spring again and Poppy’s Farm is coming to life, already there is a lot going on on the allotment and nature trail…

Oliver’s Allotment

I took a gamble this year going against everybody’s advice and sowing the veg seeds early. I’m pleased to report that the gamble paid off, and with the mild weather over the past few weeks, already the carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks, beetroot, kale, spinach and chard are coming through. I’m hopeful that in a week or so, the spinach will be ready to start picking. I shall feel very smug tucking into my first meal having proved my sceptics wrong!

The allotment is changing slightly this year as I want it to be not only productive, but also beautiful so I have sown sunflowers, pot marigolds and lots of cosmos. I like the look of the Cottage Garden and by mixing flowers in with the veg I will create a balance between pest and predator. I am very proud to say that I am going completely organic this year with no peat and no chemicals, therefore I will be relying on nature for my pest-control.

With much of the crop already in the ground, I am busying myself with creating frames for the cabbage beds to keep caterpillars away. I am using recycled wood from the Garden Centre maintenance team to build a frame which I will then net over the top.

I’m also enriching the soil by digging in the compost that we are constantly creating on site. This, along with chicken pellet manure, will give the soil the nutrients it needs to ensure strong growth for the veg we plant.

It is exactly a year since we opened the nature trail and what a difference a year makes… last year I planted over a thousand plants, many of which have self-seeded so I’m enjoying seeing what is coming up.

We’ve already had quite a few things flowering, the Marsh-marigolds look spectacular and it’s been nice to see some butterflies around, I’ve spotted Brimstone, Orange Tip, Peacock, and just today Holly Blue.