Fully Clothed Gardening

Yesterday was World Naked Gardening Day (yes, it’s definitely a thing!) but I’m sure you will all be relieved to know, I did not participate – I stayed well away from the allotment, and my clothes stayed firmly on! I went to the allotment this morning and am pleased to report, my fellow plot holders clearly felt the same as me and were also fully clothed!

The main news for me this week is, I was given this little beauty!

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It’s a petrol lawnmower and it may have changed my life! My friend, F. messaged me and asked if I’d like it as she was buying a new one. If you remember how long the grass on the paths was, you’ll understand why I jumped at the offer. F. only lives round the corner so I drove round to collect it (sticking to social distancing rules, obviously) I love it! It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it but once I did I was away. The paths went from this:

to this:

It is, by no means perfect, but I can at least now walk along the paths and still be able to see my wellies. The edges need tidying up but I’ve been given another new toy that should help me with those that I will, hopefully, be able to share with you next time. Overall a very satisfying morning at the allotment and, as an added bonus the grass cuttings are great for the compost.

We’ve had a few more seeds germinate which is great news as it means I’ll have something to plant in the next couple of weeks. Still only one pumpkin but what a pumpkin! It just kept growing so quickly I had to put a taller stake in the pot – I didn’t have a stake so I used my initiative and broke a wooden clothes hanger into a useable support. I decided today, it had just become so big it needed to be planted outside properly. Unfortunately, this meant preparing the pumpkin patch, which I still hadn’t done so I headed down to the plot this morning with only one job on my mind.

Fortunately, we’ve had a fair amount of rain over the last few days which made weeding the pumpkin bed so easy. It only took me about an hour to completely transform the bed, ready for the ladder and the solitary pumpkin plant. Very pleased with this.

I’ve decided to try the ladders again this year because I just love how they look. So, the first plant of this growing year has been planted.

I still have lots of seedlings at home on, pretty much every available windowsill. Still only 1 cucumber from the ones I planted at home but lots have popped up from the tray I sowed at the allotment.

The peppers are doing well – going to keep them inside for a little while yet as they don’t like the cold.

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The cauliflowers seem to have come from nowhere. At one point I thought I was only going to have one plant but, all of a sudden loads started popping through the surface and yesterday I had enough I was able to share them with the cafe volunteers and put the rest in the greenhouse.

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We have an allium! It’s one of Louis’ rogue ones that he planted in the onion bed. Still quite small but looking forward to when it really shows us what it can do as they are just beautiful.

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Talking of flowers – the dahlia from last year looks like it will be making another appearance. There are definite new shoots coming through and today Michelle gave me 2 tiny little dahlias she’d grown from seed to go with it. I tried to remember how big the original plant grew last year to leave enough space but, knowing me I will have either wildly over or underestimated and they’ll end up growing on top of each other or look like they’ve taken social distancing to the extreme.

The sweet peas are doing really well on the windowsill at home and will soon be ready to plant out on the plot. I still have the trellis up ready for them and I’ll keep a close eye on them this year to make sure helper no. 2 doesn’t dig them up as weeds!

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As huge amounts of people take up growing their own plants during the lockdown, I am so grateful to have my little allotment. It’s a space we can go to when we feel cooped up in our flat that provides us with fresh air, physical exercise and peace and quiet (as well as food!) My mental health has definitely benefitted from having it, both before and during the lockdown period. Here’s how I left my little calm space this week.

Jobs for next week include weeding the remaining beds and tidying up the edges of the paths with my new toy!

 

 

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