Allotment Adventures: Hot

Last weekend the weather broke it’s usual bank holiday pattern and was the hottest, since the the early May bank holiday was introduced in 1978. (I didn’t know it was only 40 years old, every day is a learning day!)

This was good but also bad. It was very hot and it’s hard to do hard work in the heat for any length of time. Monday also marked my two year anniversary of tenancy of Plot 186a. In that time it’s gone from thisto this

May is the time I usually start to panic about getting everything sown and planted, but I’m feeling quite relaxed about it right now because everyone else is panicking and although I would rather be further ahead, I’ve done all I can do, we’re in good shape and if things aren’t growing, it’s not because of me!

This weekend, I planted out the sweet peas. They’ve been in the cloche for a week and I needed the space so into the ground they went. I was reminded that last year, I was convinced that they would all die but they managed just fine, even after frost damage. So we’ll hope for the best and if they don’t work, then I can always buy some plug plants later!

We also had a bonfire, finally! It’s the first time that the burning pile has been dry enough to burn and got it all done and the ashes on the compost heat. It was also slightly illegal, apparently we aren’t supposed to have them from May to November, I plead ignorance especially as the committee had one on Saturday during the volunteer day. It’s done now and I won’t do it again until I can!

I sowed more peas, next to the chard, and french beans and earthed up my frost bitten potatoes. I did cover them with fleece but that clearly didn’t work, but it happened last year and we got potatoes so I know that they will catch up but next year I’m putting them in cloches!We also put an ant killing station on the broad bean bed. Last year the blackfly was terrible everywhere on the plot so I’m trying to nip the problem in the bud by killing the source, the blackfly always starts on the broad beans. The broad beans are in flower and pod and it’s all getting very exciting.My blueberries are looking much less stick likeand the strawberries are full of flowers that will, hopefully, translate to fruit this year.We ordered some more lawn edging so I can frame in an area at the top of the plot for a squash bed and we have a friend looking out for pallets so we can execute our plan for hillbilly decking next to the shed. I’ve also recruited Mike, who was one of my shed builders to help me with it. He has a good eye for this stuff and I do not!We worked hard but there’s so much more to do, at least this area is free of rubbish now.  Once the bed for the squash is defined, I think I’m going to woodchip the rest the time there’s a delivery, it doesn’t stop the weeds but it does make them easier to see and pull up!So the work list for next week, when I am all by myself (Ma is going away for the weekend and neglecting her duties which means more rhubarb for me!) looks like this.

  • Frame in bed, add compost to bed
  • Add compost to bed next to the compost heap
  • sow sweetcorn 
  • pot on tomatoes
  • sow kale and chard indoors
  • weed and general tidy

That’s enough to be going on with.

The sweet corn is going to be part of my mini three sisters planting. I had planned sweet corn and borlotti beans, but I’m also going to bung a couple of cucumber plants in that bed for ground cover. I have 14 seedlings (we love cucumbers!) so I’ll have more than I can plant in the bed and might as well use them for ground cover!

The plan assuming the weather co-operates is to plant all the tomatoes and squash out over the next bank holiday weekend and pray everything catches up!


About nicdempsey

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1 Response to Allotment Adventures: Hot

  1. Pingback: Friday Links | Nic Dempsey

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