Allotment Adventures: A Surfeit of Tomato Plants

This week, I started to pot on the tomatoes. I thought I was being restrained. Reader, I was not. Eight small pots turned into 71 seedlings and I have one more pot to go but I’ve run out of compost. This is before I sown the cucumbers, summer and winter squash and melons.

I know, you don’t need to tell me. I have plans for 54 plants max. So if you live in West London or work near St Paul’s and would like some tomatoes, hit me up!

Ma and I needed to do an emergency seedlings supplies run to Wilko on Saturday (because 71 seedlings is a lot of trays!) and after that we got down to work. First watering, it’s been 50% drier than an average April this year and it shows, everything is parched. There was also a tiny triumph, last year Ma weeded my bleeding heart. It’s not a strong as it was last year, but it survived to flower this year.

Bleeding Heart

Ma spent all most of the four hours on the plot cutting back the rosemary. She did help me with netting the gooseberries and sowing the parsnips but it’s a lot of rosemary…

The gooseberries are now protected from the magpies…

Protection and the hope we’ll actually eat some gooseberries this year.

An allotment neighbour gave me some scaffold netting for this, we did have to ‘sew’ the gaps with twine but it works. Soon we’ll tackle the blueberries and the blackcurrants but that’s going to be more tricky because of how many there are. I know I’ve said this a lot this year but I have a feeling we’re going to be blueberry rich this year!

Future blueberries

I made some changes to the wilderness area. I call it the wilderness area but it’s just area with some lavender and things I like self seed in. There was a lawn edging bed there between the lavender and verbena bonareises for a while, I took it out sometime in 2020 and it’s been home to tulips and self seeded calendula, more verbena bonareisis, white cornflowers, borage, amaranth, orache, mallow, coriander, rocket and whatever else turns up. Last year in July it looked like this and I loved that in my very tidy allotment had this wild area. Look at it, how could you not be seduced by it?

Wild

However, in winter it looks terrible and bare. I wanted to put some greenery that could hold its own in the cold. So I’ve relocated the ‘hot and spicy’ oregano that Ma ‘weeded’ from the front bulb bed last year, it has survived but not thrived, so I moved it. I also got a golden thyme from Urban Herbs last year and it hasn’t had a proper place so in it went. I also had the surviving sweetpeas and camomile in the poly so I planted all of the sweet peas and some of the camomile as well. The camomile is lawn so if it really spreads that’s perfect too. I watered and then mulched because that’s supposed to help with evaporation and it’s warmish and very dry for April.

I love how much the cornflowers look like the camomile. I also have a bed that has an abundance of chives in it, I’m going to move some of them, into this area and I have some nasturtium, echinacea, forget-me-not and nemesia seeds to sow so I’m expecting that some of them will find their way into this area too. Although the nasturtium are actually planned for near the winter squash and bean beds. (Ma says two allotment plots would be too many so I’m just going to pack in as many growing things as I can into this one!)

Wilderness in April

I have four more camomile plants and I do have plans for them but I need to sort out the patio area but that won’t be until at least June. Anyway, we also sowed parnips, repaired the one arch we’ve put together, please admire the much shorter rosemary bushes.

Shorter Rosemary

I did some weeding, it’s that time of year, the bind weed is re-appearing and it’s time for the ‘never let it see a Monday’ plan (it’s a war of attrition, you just have to keep pulling it up!), then about a hour and a half after we planned it, we collected our hungry gap harvest, chard (nearly a kilo), rhubarb (just over a kilo), mint, oregano, chives and lemon thyme.

About nicdempsey

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