As we enter week 5 of lockdown we have definitely found a routine (of sorts) – Louis’s mainly consists of sleeping and eating with the odd personal training session thrown in, while mine is a mixture of collecting food for the cafe and the food bank, shopping, my daily exercise class, and the allotment. I am still only visiting the allotment about twice a week and Louis generally only sets foot outside the flat at the weekend, either to come to the allotment or walk to the shop. Today marks the end of the Easter holidays and the day, under normal circumstances, Louis would be heading back to college for his final term. I have to be honest and admit we have seriously struggled to do any sort of college work even before the Easter break but, today I’ve convinced Louis to take up an art challenge set by his college tutor. After some careful questioning, I have ascertained it’s ‘Monsters Versus Aliens’ – he is, quite clearly watching far too many DVDs!
Those of you in the UK will know we have had beautiful sunshine for most of the 4 weeks we’ve not been allowed outside (typical!) I thought it would make it more difficult (all that lovely weather we can’t make the most of) but actually, the few days we’ve had when it’s been overcast I have found harder to cope with. As far as I’m concerned bright sunshine makes everything a little more bearable and, of course, it means we can visit the plot. I’ve managed 3 visits this week and Louis just the one. He spent most of the time in the shed but he did venture out with a spade at one point (it was very fleeting, I didn’t manage to capture it) and he watered a few beds (which I did manage to photograph)
I’ve been busy with all the seeds this week. I re-potted most of the aubergine plants and took them to the cafe to share with the volunteers and the customers. These are all I have left now but as there are 11 seedlings I think I should have enough!
If you’ve managed to take a walk around your local streets over the last few weeks you can’t fail to have noticed all the rainbows in people’s windows. So, we thought we’d join in. I have a wonderful die cutting machine on which I was able to cut these fab rainbows. I made 4 for us and I sent some to friends. I cut them in sticky vinyl so I could stick them to our windows. I love them and, hopefully people walking past will enjoy them too.
The pumpkin (still only one I’m afraid) is doing brilliantly. So well, in fact, I had to re-pot it this week. I’m going to leave it in the pot on the windowsill at home for a little while yet as I still need to prepare the bed it will go in on the plot. I’ll use the ladders like I did last year although with just one pumpkin plant it’s going to look a bit empty.
As Louis has been stuck in the flat, I’ve been trying to do things to brighten his days. While searching online for some shampoo bars, I came across these shark bath bombs. Louis absolutely loves sharks but is not the biggest fan of baths so I thought this would be just the thing to convince him to wash! He loved them and had great fun pretending the shark had bitten his arm. They’re from a company I follow on Instagram called Soul and Soap and, not only did Louis have fun with them, they smelt absolutely amazing.
It was lovely to see the pear and apple tree blossoming and the first signs of the fruit starting to appear. There were also plenty of bees buzzing around.
Nothing yet from the organic cucumbers and the yellow courgettes in the shed and still only one cucumber and cauliflower at home.
The sweetpeas and peppers, however, are doing amazingly well. There are too many peppers for me so, like the sunflowers and aubergines, I’ll re-pot them and share them at the cafe. The sweetpeas are all mine though, as I didn’t manage to get any last year (you may remember helper number 2’s over-enthusiastic weeding!) They’re getting pretty tall so I’m not sure how long I can keep them on the windowsill before I’ll have to plant them out and let them grow up the trellis.
Rhubi is still doing well. I left her alone this week so no crumble for us.
I was surprised to see lots of flowers in the strawberry bed. Not sure why I was surprised as it’s the right time of year for them but I was. The strawberry bed has really spread out – it’s probably twice the size from when I first planted it so I hope that means I can look forward to twice the amount of strawberries!
It was Michelle’s birthday last week so when I met her on the plot on Sunday morning I took a surprise for her. (A socially distanced) Happy Birthday, Michelle!
In between eating the cakes on Sunday, I also tackled last year’s potato bed. It was covered in weeds and I should have made a start before now as I have another 2 beds to weed and dig over to be ready to plant out. This took me about an hour so I’m hoping the other beds will be as straightforward so I can be ready for all the new plants (mainly aubergines at this point!)
Here’s how I left the plot this week. This week’s jobs are to weed the remaining beds and have a tidy up ready for all the lovely planting although, at this point, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll have to plant!