I really didn’t think I would have much to write about this week as, due to the weather and other commitments, I haven’t managed to get down to the plot much. Despite not being down there as much, there seems to be lots of changes because so many things are just getting on with growing.
On Monday, Louis had a tea party at college. The queen was there! (Well, a cardboard cut out of the queen) All the food was made by the students and it was all yummy (and I know because I tried it all!)
After the tea party, on our way back to the car we popped into B&.M. I can’t actually remember what we went in for (can anyone?) but Louis found a wooden planter and said he wanted to plant onions in it (it was totally unsuitable for growing onions in but I liked his thinking) He also chose a rather nice pair of navy blue suede gardening gloves. Anyone who has been in our shed knows how much we need gardening gloves (we don’t! I have at least 5 pairs) but in an effort to try and encourage him we bought the gloves and the planter (both of which are still in the shed untouched)
So, after eating copious amounts of cheese scones and fruit scones with jam and cream (don’t tell my Slimming World consultant! oops!) I felt I needed to, at least try and work some of it off so Louis and I spent 3 hours on the plot.
I started digging the 4th bed. This has been the worst area so far – although I’m sure there is worse to come (I remember what I covered over in the extension area!) The root of one of dandelions was so deep I had to give up and leave it. Why does such a small plant need such deep roots? These must have been a good 2 feet down. Those who know me, know I am…shall we say, persistent, maybe beligerent, others may say bloody minded or even pig headed. Whichever word you choose, for me to leave that root in the ground took a huge amount of self control because every fibre of my being wanted to dig for as long and as deep as I needed to, to get that root out.
Dandelion roots aside, I managed a fair bit of digging. I’m still pulling up crazy amounts of rubbish, but, for a site that was neglected for so long it’s hardly surprising.
Louis spent most of the 3 hours – yes, you guessed it – in the shed! He did come out at one point and start digging. I actually thought he was going to plant the chrysanthemum but he gave up well before the point of planting, so the poor chrysanthemum remains in its pot.
The effort I have put into digging and weeding each bed seems to be paying off. I had very little weeding to do this week. The odd bit of bindweed will pop up which I dig out as I see it (making sure I dig the whole root out) but there really isn’t loads which is great news for my back and means I can concentrate on other jobs.
I didn’t make it down to the plot again until Thursday. Dan had messaged me to advise me to put down some extra slug pellets as it had been pretty damp all week and the slugs would be having a field day. So I popped in on my way to work on Thursday morning. Almost as soon as I arrived it started to rain. By the time I had walked to my plot it was raining too hard to do anything so I left and went into work early (that confused everyone!) In the few minutes I was there though, I did notice one of the butternut squash plants Jane had given me had flowered!
By 4pm the rain had cleared and it had turned into a very pleasant afternoon. Louis was at his friend’s again so I visited the plot by myself. I only stayed for about an hour and I only watered and weeded as I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. Jane and I were the only ones on site and before she left she popped down for a chat. I excitedly showed her the flower on the butternut squash which turns out to be a courgette! I’ve been mis-sold! When Jane gave them to me she said they were squashes! To be fair, I’m just so glad anything’s growing atall I’m not in the least bit bothered what they are.
On Saturday morning I was all set to go to the plot and do some work – up early in my allotment gear. It was only when I stepped outside I realised it was raining. I am strictly a fair weather gardener (I really dislike rain) so I turned round and went back indoors. As it turned out, half an hour later we had bright sunshine – I could have done about an hour’s work on the plot but by that time I’d started tidying the flat so I stayed at home.
Busy day at the community cafe on Saturday – half of the team were manning a stall at a local fun day so we were running the cafe with only 5 of us, and, because we’d worked so hard we, obviously deserved a drink and a chat in the pub afterwards. The upshot of all that was I didn’t make it to the plot atall on Saturday. Sunday was another busy cafe day. No cafe, but myself and another member of the team had arranged to visit a venue for a wedding we’ve been asked to cater, so I was really pleased that I managed to fit in 2 visits to the plot.
I’d loosely arranged to meet Michelle first thing Sunday morning but, again it was raining. I messaged Michelle and she said she was still going. This, basically shamed me into going. It turned out to be a good call because, unlike Thursday by the time I arrived it had, pretty much stopped raining. Michelle and I worked and chatted. I just weeded and watered everything and added my kitchen scraps to my compost bin.
Michelle gave me a whole bunch of lettuce leaves (Slimming World consultant, this definitely makes up for the scones!) which smell absolutely amazing and will go beautifully with my dinner tomorrow evening. Thankyou Michelle x
After I’d visited the wedding venue I had the rest of the afternoon to myself so I worked on the plot for 3 hours. Most of the 3 hours was spent digging the new bed. Hardly any breaks today – I was the only person on the whole site so no one to chat to. This area is definitely the bit with the most rubbish so far. I dug up so many bricks and paving slabs I’m pretty sure I could build a decent sized patio with them.
Rhubi is flourishing. I no longer feel I have to worry about Rhubi too much but she’s always the first plant I check when I arrive on site.
Something’s been at my kale! I’m really not sure what it is because I have slug pellets down so they can’t get through that way, but something’s been having a nibble.
No carrots yet and the parsnips look a bit ropey – hoping they’ll perk up a bit soon.
The potatoes are still going strong. I haven’t earthed them up for a while because there’s really not much room left in the pot.
All the courgettes – the ones I thought were squashes and the shaded ones have all flowered.
Louis’ onions are ok – some of them look a little bit scraggy but hopefully they’ll be ok.
Everything’s growing well on the loaned plot.
I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve actually achieved this week, considering I didn’t think I’d been on the plot very much. So, here’s what the plot looked like last week:
and here’s what it looks like this week: