Allotment… day 7

I only spent a short amount of time at the allotment today, but got a lot done. I dug out one more row, finishing a second bed off. I have now dug 25% of one side of the allotment! I hesitate to say it, but it really isn’t taking that much time to dig now. I seem to have a rhythm going and I’m not sure there’s as many weeds as there were on the edges. Now I’ve said that I’m going to hit the worlds largest weed the next time I go up. 

I also watered the vegetables, especially the tomatoes as they wouldn’t have seen much if any of the rain that we’ve had recently. The problem with having so many vegetables planted is they need a lot of water, and the rain we have had hasn’t been enough to fill the water butt. I have enough for the next couple of days, but after that it is ration time.

It looks as though the carrots are happy, although I am not sure I could say the same for the courgettes and chard, but who knows? It may well be that they are taking time to wake up or the rain has beaten them down. Elizabeth and I put some slug pellets down yesterday to try and protect them as much as possible, so hopefully they’ll spring to life soon enough.

Finally, I have planned my raised bed for the asparagus. The wonderful design is in my head, I just need to make it a reality. No rush at all for this, which is lucky, as I have a heck of a lot of digging to get through first!

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Allotment… day 6

 It is a lesser-known fact that there is a missing verse to the Coldplay song ‘Yellow’. It goes like this:

Look at your hands,

Look how they glow for you,

And everything the gloves touched,

Yeah, they are all yellow.

The one where they had inadvertently worn yellow gloves in the rain and it hilariously turned their hands, you got it, yellow. Well, I did exactly the same thing today. Just think, if they had included this verse in their song, I’d have forewarning!

Yesterday was very rainy, so I stayed away from the allotment; today was less so, so I ended up there for three or four hours. And thanks to only one rain shower, I managed to get a heck of a lot done.

I mended the fence which had nearly fallen down again and moved the tomatoes down along with their sauna and attached them to the outside of the shed (this may be a good, or a very bad idea…we’ll see), They need the sun, and they are not getting it from our garden, so hopefully it’ll work.

I finished digging out the second bed, which was relatively easy apart from being a bit heavy due to the rain. This also gave me a chance to use my shiny new spade which worked well, but then it is an inanimate object and other than a couple of minor differences between spades it largely comes down to how hard you dig. I mean, really, unless they come up with an automatic spade, or reintroduce slaves, it is down to you.

After that, I planted the vegetables I’d been growing in pots, so the chard and sprouts were pretty easy to put in; and then we come to carrots. I’ve been told by more than one person that moving carrots is a bad idea, but here’s the thing. I had about 25 carrots in one very small pot, which meant each root was the size of a pin. The choice was this… if I leave them in the pot they’ll be carrots for the Borrowers; if I take them out they may die, OR they may be actually grow. I chose the latter, sorry Borrowers.

If you haven’t been keeping up, then this is what I have planted so far…

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Courgette
  • Radish
  • Spring onion
  • Sprouts

I think that’ll be it for planting, unless I can find another vegetable beginning with ‘c’ or the allotment neighbour donates a squash or two. I’ll spend the rest of the year digging over the rest of the plot ready for next year.

Now, in the style of an annoying film that feels like it should have ended ten-minutes ago, I’m going to add a second ending. As I forgot that I had also done some trenching! Yes indeed, the most satisfying digging since the spade was invented. I needed to sort out the dangerous drainage gulleys that were in front of the shed. I also can report that the guttering is doing a fine job as the water butt is about half-full!

Right, I’m off to update the Coldplay section of Wikipedia…ImageImageImage

Allotment…day 5

Rain, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely…quite a lot actually

(with huge apologies to Edwin Starr)

Today I ‘popped down’ to the allotment to see what the little bit of rain had done to the soil. The problem so far was that the top inch or two was rock-hard; with a bit of rain I was hoping that it would have loosened it up a bit. And it really had!

Here starts the good-news, bad-news story:  

  • good news, soil so easy to cut through. Bad news, it started to rain hard.
  • Good news, I have a shed! Bad news, I’d left the door open and it was soaking inside.
  • Good news, the rain abated and I managed, in 30-minutes to dig the same amount as I did in two hours on day 3. Bad news, the rain properly lashed down, I’m a wimp and fled home!

In other news, I now have a compost bin, I seemed to break my spade when the ground was doing an impression of granite and I seem to have uncovered a potato (just the one)

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Allotment…day 4

Today, I have been at the allotment for half an hour. No digging, and my back is thanking me for that in spades.

I did, however, manage to get the courgettes in before it rained, and Dad helped add a second water butt, so I now have the grand total of 400 litres of capacity (and about 2 litres of water).

Elizabeth came with us, and we met our allotment neighbour (Rob) who introduced us to his dog (Kim) who were both very nice. Elizabeth fell in love with the dog (not ’til you’re a teenager…and have moved out) and Rob has offered us some Italian squash. He also told me about the way the water drains, and luckily it heads towards where I want to put a raised bed.

That is all!

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Allotment…day 3

Two and a bit hours at the allotment today, and I’ve finished digging the weeds from the first bed, and then some. Although it was still hard to get through the first inch, the rest was relatively easy-going. The ground hasn’t been dug for a long while, so there are some pretty large clumps to break up, and as you’ll see from the photo I didn’t manage to do them all! I did, however, find an old, rusted hand fork which looked scarily like an old skeleton hand when I started to dig it up!

I’ve planted the spring onions and radishes that Mum and Dad brought over yesterday, and will try to plant the courgettes tomorrow. Then I think one more bed will get in the chard and sprouts before I’ve run out of things to put in. Hopefully that will be before the weekend, but who knows?!

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Allotment…day 2

Sunburn! Tomorrow is going to be bad. 

Anyway, other than sunburn, it was great; with huge thanks to Mum and Dad and Elizabeth, we strimmed, collected trimmings, added a water butt, dug, weeded, and… wait for it… planted! 

Met an allotment neighbour who said the plot hadn’t been worked for five years and once in a while someone takes pity and strims the weeds. Apparently it was rotivated five years ago; and to be fair, the soil underneath the rock hard crust is pretty amazing – seeing as we haven’t had rain for ten days, it was pretty moist!

There is so much more to do, but plenty of time to do it. And did I mention the sunburn? Ow! ImageImageImage