Allotment Adventures: Non Lazy Summer Sunday Morning

I have this weekend and next weekend before I’m losing my weeder for a weekend. Ma is away on holiday at the the end of June which co-incides with the Open Day. Where I’m doing double duty, an hour on the cake stall and an hour on the plant stall!

Ma’s well deserved holiday aside, that means I have two weekends to get the plot into shape for the Open Day because I love it and I want to show it in it’s best light and thank goodness that I don’t have to think about the whole site, like the committee does. During the week, I’d got a pretty good morning watering and raspberry picking groove going on. I’m still fighting a war against slugs and snails in the greenhouse but I have my first tomatoes.

The weekend though is for work, not maintenence and we had a lot of it to do and it was really, really hot. On Saturday evening, we did the watering and picked our first courgette (it was a little undersized but Ma wanted to pick it before it turned into a baseball bat. We also picked salad and raspberries.Then we went home and had a martini…

Despite or maybe because of the martini, on Sunday we got to work early (8am-ish) and this is what we got done.

‘Prune’ the plum tree and tidy up around it

This was the first thing that I did, I wanted to remove a big branch so I did that and some very minor pruning because I didn’t want to shock it too much.  I also got rid of the various bits and pieces that have been building up around the shed and tree, in preparation for the weeding that Ma was going to do. And admired my first anemone.

Plant out the remaining leeks 

This was the first year I’ve grown leeks and I’ve learnt a couple of things about waiting. I was really worried about them but I just need to sow them in a deep pot and let them get on with it. I have two beds with 30 leeks in them and the left over ones I planted closer together in the salad bed and we’ll eat them as baby leeks earlier.

Thin carrots

I way oversowed these (top tip try not to drop your seed packet!), so although I’ve removed loads and made pesto with them, it’ll need to be done again in a couple of weeks time.

Sow more beetroot, spinach and lettuce. 

I didn’t get around to this last week but it’s done now, I do need to sow some stuff (more beetroot, chard, spinach, winter leaves, pak choi, cavolo nero) in the greenhouse for planting out a bit later on, for autumn, but I probably won’t get to that until July!

Weeding at the top of the plot

Ma did this and although she says she has more to do next week, it looks so much better. I also planted out, two lemon scented geraniums in between the rhubarb, they won’t survive the first frosts but I have two at home to take cuttings from next year, if these work for summer.

Cut back the grass around the edges of the plot.

I did a bit by the carrots but it’ll need cutting back next week, I need to get a strimmer! It’s my birthday in August!!

We also watered and fed everything. It doesn’t look like much but it was four hours in the very hot heat. We finished by picking more sweet peas, raspberries, salad and my first cucumber! 

There is loads more to do next week I need to prioritise the following:

  • Sorting out the gooseberries
  • Breaking down and disposing of the grey box
  • Do something about the tomatoes which I can’t give away because Laura and Oli gave them to me and I want Oli to see that we kept them. (Joe doesn’t care, he’ll just eat them). It’s been so hot and they need to be out of their little pots, the sooner I can get this sorted the better!
  • If I then have some time, I’ll sow in the greenhouse (more beetroot, chard, spinach, winter leaves, pak choi, cavolo nero)

Ma’s list is:

  • Cut back the grass around the edges of the plot.
  • Finish weeding at the top of the plot
  • Pick some peas and courgettes!

Other good things, spotted on Sunday:

Our first outdoor tomatoes (these are orange banana)

Flowering chives

We’ve left the greenhouse open for the last couple of days, because it’s been so hot but I’m hoping for a return to slightly cooler weather soon!

About nicdempsey

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