A super busy week this week – I’m exhausted!
I’ve visited the plot most days this week even if it’s just been a quick pop in to water and weed.
Bank holiday Monday was spent at a garden centre (obviously!) with mum. I didn’t actually buy much – just some Tomorite for my strawberries (as advised by one of the garden centre staff) and some very fetching holeless crocs (I can’t think of any other way to describe them!) with detachable fleecy insoles.
I realise, what with it being a bank holiday Monday and a really hot, sunny one I should have been on the allotment working hard but I have to admit to going to the pub instead! I think that probably loses me gardening brownie points but it was very much worth it (partly because, while at the pub my friend offered me a compost bin)
On wednesday we popped in after horse riding just to pick up the sunflowers I’ve been growing (my class are learning about plants and have sunflower seeds to plant so we thought it might be nice for them to see what their seeds will look like in a few weeks)
We ended up staying about an hour. Jane was there so, of course we had a chat. She gave me 2 courgette plants which I planted in the newly weeded area next to the shed. I realise it’s probably too shady for them there but as AA said, currently there is nowhere else to put them and better that they’re planted in a shady area than left in the pots. I can always move them to a more suitable spot when I’ve cleared more of the site. I put some slug pellets round each plant and I’m glad I did based on what I saw today – 2 of the little blighters literally making tracks for my courgette plants. We all know what they would have done if they’d made it through so, thankfully the pellets stopped them. Jane also, very kindly offered to help me dig out any of the beds when I decide where I want them.
I got all excited about what I thought was a parsnip seedling. I even took a photo of it and shared it to Instagram. I was so happy about my little parsnip I announced the news like a bloody town crier that I would be enjoying parsnip soup made with my very own parsnips in the next few months. It was quickly pointed out to me the seedling was, in fact a variety of bindweed and not to be such a twit (no one actually called me a twit but we all know at least some of them were thinking it!) I have no idea why I thought it might be a parsnip – I think it just looked different from all the other weeds. So, disappointing news on the parsnip front but I’m told they’re not the easiest crop to grow so I’ll keep watching and optimistically waiting.
We visited again after work on Thursday. I pottered a bit doing a bit of watering and weeding. I’ve decided to copy my other half. Richard has now planted lots on his plot and next to each plant is an upside down water bottle.He explained to me, if you unscrew the lid a little bit the water drips out fairly slowly, giving the plant a continual source of water. So, I’ve tried this method next to the rhubarb (for those of you eagerly waiting on the rhubarb saga – some exciting news to follow!) and next to some of the onions just to see what happens.
The onions and potatoes are still doing really well.
As is the wild flower wheelbarrow.
On Friday evening we stopped in on our way home from Louis’ running club. Again, I just pottered really. I was feeling a bit lost as to what to do next. It was all starting to feel quite big and unmanageable. So I watered and dug out some more bindweed.
I was planning on spending Saturday morning on the plot but the morning just seemed to run away from me and before I knew it, it was time to go and help at the community cafe so I didn’t make it down to the allotment. It started raining while we were at the cafe and carried on for the rest of the day so no allotment for us atall on Saturday but great news for the plot as the ground was really dry and the water butt was nearly empty.
Today Louis and I headed down at about 9.30 this morning with high hopes for a filled water butt, lovely watered beds and plants growing like mad (well 2 out of 3 aint bad – the water butt didn’t seem to have any more water in it than when I left it on Thursday)
Jane and Michelle were both there. Michelle, yet again took a bag of my rubbish to the tip with her when she left, bless her. Jane, following on from her offer to help me dig was totally true to her word and followed us down to our plot with her special fork (it’s smaller and lighter than normal forks – sometimes described as a ladies’ fork but the feminist in me just will not allow me to call it that!) She asked me what I was planning on doing today – clearing the area along the side of the shed (the sunny side) and she helped me do it. We sent Louis off to find us a garden waste bin and then set about filling it. Jane was an absolute star – she dug, she weeded and she kept me going when, had I been on my own I almost certainly would have given up.
I forgot to take a close up photo before we started this morning but here’s what the side of the shed looked like on Thursday afternoon.
And here’s what it looks like after 2 hours of 2 of us digging.
It took us a couple of hours but, between us (mostly Jane to be fair!) we cleared an area big enough for the water butt, 2 sunflowers and 4 butternut squash plants kindly donated by Jane – she doesn’t like them. I, on the other hand love butternut squash – gorgeous in a curry so I was more than happy to take them off her hands. The soil, Jane tells me, is lovely so I’m expecting great things. I even remembered to dig a trench around the outside of the bed like I saw on my friend’s allotment last week.
I’m now completely exhausted but it’s a good exhausted – the sort of exhausted you get from doing hard physical work. Looking forward to carrying on all this good work next week.
For those waiting to hear about the rhubarb, here she is!
A new shoot has emerged! That’s it, that’s all I have for you. Not much, I know and I realise she’s a little holey but, hopefully this one will do better than the last 3?4? I’ve lost count. I’m told they need their leaves to get all their energy and grow nicely so I’m hoping this one will survive. Tune in next week to find out!