There’s been a bit of a knock on effect after setting up the shed, sorry, cabin. I’m not talking about the culmination of youth sitting on the veranda playing music on their iphones, it’s more about the thick gungy algae that’s taking over the lawn. Setting up the cabin meant that I needed to do a lot of walking around holding a cup of tea and looking at the levels for the base. This has resulted in me compacting the ground quite considerably.
The ground was pretty sparse on the grass front because I was working where the large trampoline was originally, and that cut off most of the light for the grass to grow. The two factors of sparseness and walking has allowed the alga to take hold at a startling rate. There doesn’t seem to be an area free of it for 5 square metres. I tentatively scraped some of the gunge off to see what was underneath and even though we have had a lot of rain the ground was dry. It reminds me of the flat green mat that used to form on my plant pots when I watered them with tap water. This means the alga is absorbing the water and draining off what it doesn’t need so the grass won’t compete with it. It’s all very clever.
I do have a plan though. I have scraped the area to allow water to get in and then I have aerated the ground with a garden fork, this should at least allow the ground to both get wet and drain more freely which will be a start to eradicate the problem and promoting grass growth. As usual I don’t want to use chemicals as this doesn’t really sort out the underlying issues, they would just be a quick temporary fix.
We’ll see if it works.
One more reason for the algae spread is the fact that my cabin guttering downpipes are running straight onto the grass. I have a plan to rectify this too. I am thinking about modifying the flow direction extending the pipes so it runs 5 yards into the rear door of the polytunnel. This’ll give me a chance to fill up big water barrels and the excess can water the plants instead of lawn algae. I can alter the flow depending on conditions as I wouldn’t want things too wet in the winter. It might be a good idea for me to get a proper water storage system with a filter so we can channel it into the house. It’s amazing just how much water we can collect even with just a light shower.
I’ve been looking at what vegetable seeds I can save this year. I let a couple of beetroot go to seed at the start of the seasonand they are so slow at maturing I don’t know if it’s worth all of the room they are taking up. The broad beans on the other hand have produced an amazing crop of dark brown pods full of dried bean in next to no time. I thought I had only left a few pods on the plants but pulling them up this week revealed about 50 pods, with more than enough beans to get a good crop next year. They are one of the earliest crops to go in and can be started in October for an early show.
The coriander plants will self seed quickly and I predict will be a bit of a weed in the tunnel next year like the tomatoes were this. I am letting some spinach go to seed too. I thought I would leave one courgette to go to seed as well and I am allowing it to grow to its full potential. It’s getting massive, pity I didn’t enter it in the ‘Biggest Marrow’ competition (should there be one) as it looks like a small Zeppelin airship. I’ve never really gone for the largest vegetable prizes; I leave that for the people who plant carrots down drainpipes to get 8 foot roots. This marrow has given me a taste for biggering though and I am even pumping it full of fertilizer to get it as big as I can before the end of the season.
We won’t be eating it as it’s the one I am saving for the seeds. It’s the most fun I’ve had this month, sad but true.