Allotment Adventures: Rainy

Our scheduled Saturday at the allotment was cut short on account of the rain and various other small calamities..

The good news it that we got to harvest one straightneck summer squash and two of the round courgettes. The cucumbers also sprung into action and we had 10!

They were turning ripe

But the tomato plants were too far gone for hope. Some of the tomatoes had started to ripen so we took them all off and cleared the beds. I washed the tomatoes and we’ll see what ripens! That does mean that I have three clear beds for overwintering onions and garlic. We’re going to sow more garlic this year and just onions as Ma was not keen on the shallots, I reckon by the time we’ve got the garlic, onions and broad beans in, we’ll probably only have the current winter squash bed empty for winter. We are replacing most of the lawn edging beds this winter so they won’t be used at all but even so, I’m pleased that we are growing things throughout the winter, sometimes I think I’m better at growing in winter than in summer I suspect because the plants aren’t as needy.

Jasmine ‘clotted cream’

We also built the a small bed in front of the shed and planted my birthday present from Jo. I will probably end up planting something else in this bed as there is just too much bare soil at the moment. I’m thinking more lavender, maybe a munstead as it’s much more compact, but I think that can probably wait for a bit.

We got about two hours on the plot and that was that.

The plot does need some work and we’ll get to it, we have a pretty large list of winter work (again, I kid myself that this year it will be a bit easier as it’s less than last year and there shouldn’t be too much more to do, there certainly won’t be anymore room on the plot and we are not up for another plot!) but it does look lovely right now.

Rampant winter squash

The optimistic list for next week is all about tidying up, this time year is all about preventing a descent into chaos, the more work you do now, the less you have to contend with next Spring. There are lots of arguments about leaving areas for wildlife, which we do but some of it (borage, I’m looking at you!) needs clearing. Here’s the list:

  • Strim the paths
  • Dead head the roses and knautia
  • Weed (everything needs weeding so it’s a moving target!)
  • Tidy the self seeded area, some of that borage needs to go
  • Put together the compost riddler
  • Empty the full compost bin
  • Turn the other compost bin
  • Tidy the shed

Good job it’s a back holiday and I have an extra day but more seriously, this year hasn’t been epic for summer growing and even when it is, the end of August, beginning of September is when a lot of allotment holders stop going for the year. They’ll come back in March and April and wonder why their plots are a mess. This is why I’ve always tried to overwinter some things, it gives you a reason to check in with the plot and do a bit of prep for spring. Ma and I are gluttons for punishment, but I’m really hoping that this winter will be the last ‘construction’ winter for a while. We have a polytunnel to put up, six new beds and I need to move some of the gooseberries and roses to better spots but then I really just want to have a year of growing, weeding and maintenance.

About nicdempsey

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