Week 70 – Skipping in the Rain

Another great week on the plot, mainly due to all the rain. It feels like it hasn’t stopped raining all week. On Monday we had a month’s worth of rain in one day – quite impressive, even for rainy old Britain!

On Monday, during all the rain I visited 3 different garden centres looking  for cucumber plants – as per Dan’s instructions. The first garden centre didn’t have any, the second one didn’t either but a very helpful member of staff suggested I buy some cucumber seeds. I questioned the lateness in the season and was assured cucumbers are a type of squash amd will grow very quickly so planting them late shouldn’t be major problem. So, I picked up some cucumber seeds. Turns out all the cucumber plants in the local area were at the third garden centre I visited – they had flippin loads of the things! I picked up 2 plants and, as advised by Dan they are outside on my balcony hardening off.

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While I was searching for the elusive cucumber plants I also picked up some grass seed, a bird feeder and some bird food. We noticed the robins seemed to really like perching on the newly installed squash ladder so we thought hanging a bird feeder over there could be quite nice.

On Monday morning, while driving my allotment helpers to college I happened to notice a rather nice piece of trellis on someone’s front drive next to a skip. It looked like it could be perfect for me to grow something up (I was thinking sweetpeas as a lady at the cafe had promised me some of her spare plants) and I am all for rescuing things from skips and stopping them going to landfill (I’m not averse to the money saving aspect either!) So, the next time I had an empty car, which was Tuesday lunchtime I pulled up across the road, knocked on the door and asked if I could have it (if you’re planning on taking anything from skips in the UK you must ask permission first) A lovely lady answered the door, had a look at the pile of wood next to the skip and said she was happy for me to take whatever I wanted. I then had the job of carrying a large, rather damp and moss covered bit of wood across a main road and manoeuvring it into my car which it only just fitted into. Thankfully it was only a 3 or 4 minute drive to the allotment because I really wouldn’t have wanted to drive much further with it. Amazing what you can pick up if you just ask!

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When I arrived at the allotment I was completely blown away by how great the plot looked. All the rain just made it look so green and lush. I didn’t stay long as it was threatening to rain again – I just propped the trellis against the fence and had a quick marvel at how good it was all looking!

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I didn’t make it to the allotment again until Friday. I hung the bird feeder from the squash ladder and nailed a piece of wood, which I’d cut last Sunday across the back legs of the ladder. Not only will this make the ladder a little more stable, it also means I can lay planks of wood across to create another horizontal surface to rest the squashes on. One of next week’s jobs is to cut the 2 planks of wood to a more suitable size.

Dan has given me a tin of fence paint so I can paint the fence panel behind the trellis. Another job for next week.

The sunflowers and the strawberry/raspberry plant are still in the greenhouse. partly because of the bad weather this week but also because I’m not entirely sure where I should put any of them. The obvious place for the strawberry/raspberry plant is in the strawberry bed and the sunflowers, along the fence next to the trellis. Another job for next week – if it ever stops raining!

Rhubi’s doing wonderfully well as are the potatoes. Having never grown a cucumelon, I’m not completely sure what it should be doing at this point but it’s still there, even if it is still quite small and looks alive which is as much as I can hope I guess.

I was hoping to spend at least a couple of hours on the plot today, Sunday but, surprise, surprise we woke to rain again so couldn’t go. Looking at the forecast for next week it looks like, apart from Monday the rest of the week is wet. I’ll have to try and make it down there tomorrow and do all the jobs I have planned.

So, overall progress has been a bit disappointing this week – especially compared to last week but on the plus side the plot has had a good water and the water butts have been topped up so I can’t complain really. Here’s how I left it this week.

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