The weather forecast for this week was sun, sun and a bit more sun. It was pretty accurate apart from quite an impressive thunderstorm on Saturday night with torrential rain. I absolutely love a thunderstorm and I spent about an hour standing on my balcony watching it and trying to get some decent shots of the lightning. I’d love to be able to tell you I took these on my camera but I had to cheat in the end and take some video on my phone and screenshot these. Still pretty pleased with them though. It really was breath taking and I’m so pleased I saw it.
Due to the beautiful weather we’ve been able to get down to the plot quite a few times this week and stay for a decent chunk of time. On Monday, Louis and I popped down after college. I’d had a phonecall earlier in the day from Dan – one of the other plot holders. He explained he’s dug most of his beds ready for planting but, for various reasons is unable to commit to looking after them as much this year. So, he has suggested he loans me some of his beds. Dan arrived on the allotment about half an hour after we did and he showed me round his plot and pointed out which beds were ready for planting. We arranged to meet at the local garden centre on Saturday morning to buy some plants.
I finally got round to re-potting Louis’ peppers. We now have 8 little sweet pepper plants on our kitchen window sill. All doing well.
On Tuesday afternoon I popped to the garden centre to buy some slug pellets – I never seem to have enough. I ended up buying a new fork. When Jane helped me dig the, now butternut squash bed she let me use her ‘ladies’ fork and I really liked it so I bought myself one. I’ve been borrowing one from mum up til now and she wants it back so this was enough justification to buy myself a new one!
As soon as Louis arrived home from college we walked down to the allotment. I finished digging the bed I’d been working on – much easier with the new, lighter fork! When I’d finished digging out all the weeds, I dug in some fish, blood and bone fertliser. The soil on my plot is good – the previous plot holder dug pot ash into it nearly every week and it’s had nothing planted in it for over a year so it’s had a good chance to recover and improve, but I’d like to keep it that way – hence the fertliser.
I totally forgot to take the slug pellets out of the car so I just had to hope my slimey friends were busy elsewhere and not munching on my plants.
Louis took it upon himself to water the whole plot – I’m not complaining! Louis’ teacher (also a gardener) has taken a real interest in the allotment and is encouraging Louis by doing some gardening with him at school. This week Louis was featured in the ‘spotlight’ part of assembly where he was asked to stand up in front of the school and explain what he does on the allotment. His teacher told me he spoke really well.
Louis was out after school on Thursday so I drove down to the plot on my own. Yes, I know I should have walked but I had the slug pellets and a big bag of chicken poo in the car which would have been heavy to carry so I drove.
I spent about 2 hours down there digging and weeding – I was the only person down there so I had no excuses to stop working! It had rained overnight (the best type of rain) so nothing really needed watering. I finished another strip of ground (it can only be the new fork that’s making digging this much quicker, surely?) The lone sunflower appears to be growing well (the waterbutt has remained upright!)
On Saturday I met Dan at the local garden centre. We had a quick cuppa in the newly opened cafe (very nice – worth a visit if you’re local to Watford) and a chat about my plans for my plot and then we went shopping! The vegetable plants were all on offer so we may have bought a few (!) more than we may otherwise would have done. We bought (brace yourselves!) –
tomatoes, aubergine, runner beans, sweetcorn, baby sweetcorn, cucumbers, chilli peppers, courgettes, carrots, pak choi, spring onions, leeks, celery and parsnips!
Dan’s made a plan and it looks like it will all fit in and I have to trust his years of experience but, I have to say as a total novice it looks like shed loads! So, the plan is we’ll plant them together, I’ll water, weed and generally look after them whenever I’m on the allotment and we’ll share any produce. I like the idea of this as I really don’t have enough ground ready to plant much more than I already have this year, Dan does, and I’ll be learning from a very experienced gardener. Win, win I’d say.
Yesterday (Sunday) Louis and I spent about 2 hours on the plot. After the huge thunderstorm nothing needed watering so Louis mainly sat in the shed reading his books. I started working on the next strip of ground along. It was very hot and muggy – the storm didn’t seem to have cleared the air atall so I managed to keep going for about an hour and a half before I gave in and called it a day.
I weeded the onions – more flippin bindweed but, even so they’re looking good, just quietly getting on with it.
The courgettes and butternut squashes are all doing well and are, for the moment all slug free.
But just look at the potatoes! They’re doing brilliantly. I was so excited to see how much they’d grown I forgot to earth them up – I’ll need to do that next time I’m down there. The pictures show their growth in just one week.
Rhubi the Rhubarb (my friend named her – thankyou C x) is doing superbly well. Two stalks with large leaves – soaking up all this lovely sunshine and 2 more stalks coming through at the base. I am very hesitant to get too excited about old Rhubi but I really think she’s showing promise. The first picture is Rhubi on Monday and the second picture is almost a week later on Sunday.
And for those of you who weren’t sure whether to believe me about the shower doors!
Oh! I passed the plot inspection! YAY! Dan told me they were happy with the progress I’m making and agreed Dan’s idea of lending me some space was sensible. I’ve been validated! It feels good – onwards and upwards.