Allotment Adventures

If it’s not already obvious I’m really enjoying having an allotment and feel that I haven’t done too badly in the first couple of months. However, nothing is ever 100% successful and I’ve had my first failure, before they even produced a tomato, the tomato plants got blight.img_4539We had a warm wet June and when a fellow plot holder mentioned that their tomatoes had gone down with it, I was looking out for it and there it was.

There is no cure for blight so I was all ready to chop them down and burn them. However, my next door neighbour at the allotments said to leave them and see and someone else recommended that I hack them back and hope for the best. So I did and we’ll see. They do have tomatoes though so if they could hold out until some of them ripen I’d be eternally grateful but if they don’t, they don’t and we try again next year.However the little french marigolds are flowering so I can grow something.

The courgettes are still going mad, this week I’ve already taken two and there are 7 more that will need to come off at the weekend, not to mention the little ones coming through. I think it’s fair to say I have a glut. At the moment, it’s not a problem, I’m never going to moan about too much fresh food, but ask me again at the end of August!

This is my little conjoined courgette from one of my plants as opposed to the ones that Jonny gave me, which has produced 18 courgettes and counting.img_4594The runner beans, pak choi, mixed lettuce and rocket sown a couple of weeks ago are doing their thing, the spinach and spring onions not so much but I have hopes of them.img_4566I’m not so hopeful about the dill and coriander, those little rectangles of dry earth next to the salad and second courgette bed have got a couple of tiny sprouts but I can’t tell if they are weeds or my herbs! The first salad bed is going really well, although who knew that pigeons liked spinach so much? My lesson for next year will be to keep them covered! The carrots and radishes in the box have started to come up although I’m not sure that I’ll have radishes for my birthday.img_4565

In other news both the dwarf french beans and the peas are starting to flower.img_4592As have (finally) the sweetpeasimg_4570There is always something to do, the raspberries went early and are about done, I need to cut the old canes back and generally tidy, weed and mulch them for next year. I’m thinking about taking the end ones out and planting a row of autumn fruiting raspberries for next year. The rhubarb is done and I think that one of them will need lifting and splitting in a couple of months and then a bit of manure and compost for next year.

Ma weeded up that end this weekend. She did an epic job but I really need to have a think about what to do there. It’s the most shaded area of the plot so I need to think about whether to plant veg or flowers or what.
The edges need trimming and the lavender is in completely the wrong place and will have to be moved at some point, I know where I want it but I’m also going to have to add some grit or sand because they don’t like clay which is exactly the type of soil I have!

Jonny is also increasing what I grow by gifting me a cucumber, which should be interesting and I need to built the composter that Sarah and Justin have decided they don’t want any more (Fred is a big fan of the garden but it’s no longer safe to grow anything!) and given me. I will very soon have a chest for tools (because carrying them thither and yon is really annoying not to mention the house looking like a shed) and a bin for setting things on fire. I have a heap of rubbish that I probably should compost but I know it’s got perennial weeds in so I’m not taking the risk and I’m burning it, also I like fire!

There is other stuff to do as time and money allow. On the list are preparing a raised bed for strawberries and a space for the gooseberries, which I need to move because I can’t get to one of them and another is right where I want a shed to live! Eventually, I’ll need to empty the water tank under the plum tree, prune the plum tree (after the plums!) and start planning next year.

Even though I know hardly anything about what I’m doing, I love doing it. Spending 4 ish hours weeding and getting completely sunburnt on Saturday gave me a sense of joy that I really needed. Another plot holder told me that her time on her plot gave her peace and I know exactly what she means, there is something very life affirming for me about tending this little plot and though it’s not by any means flashy or done. I love it.





About nicdempsey

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