Apologies for my lateness this week. I usually try to write the blog post on a Sunday evening and publish it either Sunday night or Monday morning. We spent yesterday afternoon celebrating Louis’ 18th birthday with my sister and her family who made a special effort to drive down this weekend as they can’t make ito the actual party next weekend. So, after a fantastic Sunday roast, cooked by my sister and her husband (including a vegetarian option for me – a really tasty roasted vegetable pie) and bread and butter pudding to follow I was feeling a bit too full up and tired to do anything other than lie on the sofa watching the latest Jurassic Park dvd.
So, this week we finally had a fire on the plot. Louis and I met Michelle on the allotment on Monday late afternoon – November 5th, Bonfire night and we started a fire in the incinerator. I was very excited about this as I totally love a good fire. The plan was we would burn the pile of wood I have regularly been moving around my plot since I took it on last February. However, I had no idea how long it takes for wood to burn down in an incinerator so, in reality we hardly made a dent in the wood pile. We did, however spend an enjoyable couple of hours watching the fire burn although neither Michelle or I thought to take any marshmallows with us which we both regretted.
On Tuesday, after college I had my regular helpers. After the previous night’s fire and realising how many fires we’d need to have to clear the amount of wood I’ve amassed on the plot, I asked the boys to break up the wood into manageable pieces and bag it up for the tip. They did a fantastic job of clearing the pile and only stopped because I had totally forgotten to buy more rubble sacks so they ran out. While they concentrated on the wood pile I was digging in the extension.
We’ve had quite a lot of rain this week – great for the water butt which is now full to the brim, but it’s made it seriously difficult to navigate around the plot without the risk of slipping and falling on my arse in the mud. This is especially true in the extension area where it’s just exposed mud, with no path. I’ve risked it a couple of times and squelched around in the mud to carry on digging but I drew the line yesterday morning. It had rained most of Saturday so by Sunday morning there were muddy puddles all over the place, and the extension looked particularly boggy. I had visions of me losing wellies and emerging covered head to toe in mud so I decided to ignore the extension and concentrate on less quagmire like areas of the plot.
So, instead I planted some strawberry plants. I genuinely had no idea you could plant strawberry plants in November but Michelle assures me not only can you plant strawberry plants in November, you should plant strawberry plants in November. She knows more about this sort of stuff than I do so I took her word for it and planted the strawberry plants. They’ve gone into the old pepper bed and, as ever, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but Michelle seemed to think it all looked ok so I’m happy with that. This fits with my plan to only grow fruit and veg we actually eat.
The other major event this week was the pruning of Rhubi. I’ve been putting this off because it just feels so wrong to cut away all those leaves I spent so much time and effort cultivating but Michelle and the internet advise to cut the leaves back so that’s what I’ve done. I also need to apply a mulch around the crown – a job for this coming week. So, Rhubi is looking decidely…diminished, but I’m hoping it means she’ll grow back even stronger next year.
I’ve been worried about the sprouts. AA asked recently if I could see any sprouts on the plants yet – I couldn’t. He felt, if there weren’t any sprouts on them yet then it would be unlikely for them to suddenly sprout (sorry!) any and I may aswell dig them up. I asked Michelle to have a look at them and she found some actual brussel sprouts on my brussel sprout plants! They’ve had a reprieve! The leaves are still being shredded by something but we have sprouts which, I guess is the most important thing to have on a brussel sprout plant.
It’s Louis’ 18th birthday next weekend. We’re celebrating with a party which I’m really looking forward to but it may mean there’s no blog post next week as the party is Sunday night.
Here’s how I left the plot this week. See you in a couple of weeks.