Now that the season is drawing to a close you will probably find that you have uncultivated areas on your plot. Why not sow some green manure?
Green manure is a crop that increases the fertility of your soil, while at the same time, as it grows so quickly it smothers weeds. Double benefit.
There are different types of green manure for different times of the year but they all do the same basic job. One’s that I have tried are Tares, Mustard, Hungarian rye grass and Phacelia. The latter has the added benefit that if you save a little of the seed and sow it in the spring and let it flower (you don’t usually let the plants flower otherwise you get them everywhere!) you will get an attractive blue flower that the bees adore.
So have a go and let me know how you get on.
Some of you may know I have a mild affection for the dreaded Horsetail. When I first got an allotment I was very excited to find I had a great crop of asparagus, only to find it was an invasive weed, which had been around since the dinosaurs. You have to respect something that old and if the dinosaurs couldn’t eradicate it, I decided I’d better try to live with it. You’re unlikely to get rid of it, but provided you pull it out when it appears and improve your soil it will reduce over time, and it really doesn’t interfere too much with your crops. Horsetail has an amazing range of medicinal uses, notably for rebuilding connective tissues, skin, hair and nails. The stalks used to be used to make whistles to ward off spirits, perhaps we could try it to scare off our allotment thieves
Eat the Glut
225g (8 oz) wholemeal flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 175ml (6 fl oz) skimmed milk 2 egg whites 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 tablespoons honey 4 oz grated courgette
Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Grease muffin tin or line with paper cases.
Combine wholemeal flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon, mix thoroughly.
Mix the milk, slightly beaten egg whites, oil, honey and grated courgette together. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just barely moistened. Batter should be thick and lumpy. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.