I’ve had such a great week! Spring has finally sprung – infact it feels like we may have bypassed Spring entirely and jumped straight into Summer! The lovely weather meant I made it down to the allotment nearly every day this week.
I had a completely free day on Monday so I was able to spend a few hours on the plot. I spent a very pleasant few hours weeding in the sunshine. My friend told me about #100dayshappy which I started this week (you post a photo each day for 100 days of something that’s made you happy) Strangely, I found myself posting a photo of my newly weeded plot as I was surprised to find weeding actually makes me happy!
I’d been on my plot about 3 hours when Gino, one of the other plot holders appeared. He’d come to bring the garden waste bins back into the allotment but could only find 3 of the 4 – I’d brought one in and wheeled it down to my plot when I arrived so I could put all my garden waste straight into it. Unfortunately, he didn’t know this and he assumed someone had stolen it (apparently people do!) so went on a hunt round the local roads. He only thought to check the allotment when he found no sign of it anywhere else. He stopped for a chat while I carried on weeding. I can only imagine my weeding technique was too much for him to cope with (he’s a professional gardener) because he picked up a fork and taught me how to do it properly! Turns out there’s a right and wrong way to weed – who knew? (well, obviously I didn’t know!) I wasn’t digging down deep enough, so I was only removing the top layer of weeds and not getting down to all the roots.
Tuesday afternoon – more weeding. The way Gino taught me is still back breaking but at least I know I’m getting most of the weeds out. My son joined me on the plot after college and we planted onions in the newly (correctly!) weeded bed. We really tried to plant them in straight lines by using a plank of wood as a guide but I suspect we went a little off course. We’ll find out if/when they start growing.
Thursday was an absolutely gorgeous day – hottest April day in over 50 years so Dan (another plot holder) told me. So, after work/college Louis and I watered the onions and wild flower wheelbarrow. We have growth! I know I really shouldn’t be surprised by this but I sort of am. We have lots of green shoots in the wheelbarrow and one green onion shoot – just the one but hoping for more.
ANOTHER disaster with the rhubarb – the new shoot I was so excited about last week has keeled over and, well not died exactly but it’s not looking too healthy. I’m really not sure how it’s even possible to kill rhubarb but it would appear that I have an uncanny ability to make it wither just by looking at it. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong but I’m determined to persevere with it so I can make rhubarb crumble with rhubarb I’ve grown myself.
I checked on the bucket of potatoes and poured another bag of compost over them as I don’t think I covered them enough when I planted them. It’s difficult to know how they’re doing so I can only wait and hope for some greenery to push its way through the surface soon. Totally forgot the bubble wrap again this week so they have remained uncovered.
Another beautifully sunny day on Saturday. I was on the plot by 9 and worked for a couple of hours. I’ve been concentrating on the same strip of land all week, making sure I’ve weeded it thoroughly so I can plant either more onions or maybe some parsnips. So Saturday was just more weeding which I realise is pretty boring to read about. Believe me, if I could make weeding more interesting I really would but it’s just tedious. I did, however sprinkle some chicken poo on the onion bed. I genuinely didn’t even know this was a thing until one of my work colleagues offered me some – she actually said to me ‘I have some chicken poo, would you like some?’ It would have been so much funnier if I could tell you she had made it sound like an illicit drug deal but she didn’t. So, I now have a tub full of chicken poo which, until very recently I didn’t even know existed let alone that I needed!
Last night we had a thunder storm. My AA pointed out I am now a proper gardener because I told him I found myself doing a little happy dance when it started raining! I used to really dislike rain but I can see my feelings about it changing very rapidly – no watering today, so saved me a job and the water butts have been topped up.
Sunny and hot again today but after the rain last night the ground was easier to dig. I checked on the peppers on the kitchen windowsill before I left and we have movement! 3 green shoots have appeared. Louis will be really pleased when he sees them.
I was on the plot early again this morning for more weeding. As a bonus I listened to The Archers omnibus as I worked which made it much more interesting. Sheila Dillon from Radio 4’s The Food Programme made a guest appearance and of course the wonderful Alison Steadman who is currently playing a homeless woman. I kept missing bits though because, as I’m quickly finding out, a large part of allotment life is chatting to other plot holders about what you’re doing/going to do. Although, in the heat we’ve had this week the interruptions were a welcome break from weeding.
This is a bit of a strange one for me this week because the photos don’t actually show a huge amount of progress but I know how much work I put in to weed that small patch of land (I see bind weed when I close my eyes!) so I’m really pleased with it and looking forward to planting something in it next week.