Another day of expanding the beds, weeding and so forth. But at least progress is really obvious now. Potatoes are showing, the onions are doing well, and the dwarf beans are out from under the weird glass door, which doubled up as a cold frame. They also now have a little support. Anyway, it’s looking a lot better than the last update a couple of weeks ago.
A miserable, wet and cold day on the allotment. But we managed to plant a Victoria plum tree in a newly cleared area behind the shed. Once we get rid of the rest of the weeds – hence the black plastic sheets that you can see – burn down a lot of the branches and clippings we’ve piled up, we’ll aim to plant a few more trees and turn that area into something of a mini orchard, with wildflowers, grass and so on.
Lots of clipping, trimming, weeding and other bits done today, which probably can’t be seen on this photo, but have made the rest of the site look a lot neater. I’ve also dug in some organic manure into some of the beds, as the soil quality we inherited was incredibly poor. Another few weeks and the place will be looking half decent.
It was a full day on the allotment. A whole new shed roof has been installed – something I’m rather proud of – which means we now have a dry shed. Wigwams have been prepared for runner beans. Potatoes and onions are now in the ground. Dwarf beans have been moved to a make-shift cold frame – they’re too big to stay in pots, but it’s way too early for them to be planted out fully as we’re still getting frosts. A few more wooden borders acquired, but I still need pegs to firm them in the ground. One of our most productive days yet. Oh, and if you’re wondering – those eggs are from the chickens on the plot opposite ours. The big egg was produced by a hen called Thumper.
Not near me, but this is from Ulverston, Cumbria – via Flickr. This shot was too nice not to share. It’s the season now. Or at least I think it is, anyway, but because of our weird never ending winter it might still take a while. What a scene though, and probably a wonderful smell too – it’s one of the few times nature really makes an effort to get up your nose. I remember when I lived on the south coast for a brief period, there was an amazing place where you had the combination of coastal vegetation, the saline breeze and intense wild garlic aromas. For me it’s the sign that summer is on the way.
Compare the above to how it looked after day one:
You can really see the difference. It’s genuinely starting to look like a proper allotment now, and there’s plenty being planted too – from cabbages and beans, to carrots and… more beans. The greenhouse contains plenty of seedlings. It’s all go.
Chippings down to create something of a path way. Borders improvised with branches or whatever wood could be found on the site, basically. Seeds in pots: courgettes and tomatoes. Seeds in the ground: red cabbages and carrots. Sweet peas along the bed on the right. We’ll have some climbing beans in next month and also start to plant some wildlife-friendly flowers for the summer. Only now is it all starting to take shape.
It’s the first time we’ve been on the allotment in about five weeks, due to terrible weather. We didn’t really miss much, though there are a few signs of life around the site. I’ve ended up basically digging over the same patches again, with a little extra; this time raking it level, ready for planting. I’ve fixed a few loose panels in the greenhouse, and we’ve massed a decent pile of twigs and branches which we’ll need to burn at some point. Also, we really need to lay down some wood chips to denote the pathways, which will make everything look instantly better. There’s a guy who brings around pine tree shreddings for free, which are ideal. There’s also a farmer who stops by to sell – allegedly – superb manure for £25 a load. This manure is the secret to growing enormous pumpkins, so I’m told. Anyway, I need to track down both of these people pretty soon.
First day on the allotment. Lots of clearing and digging, and being given advice from wise old men. I’ll try to keep track of progress throughout the year. Yes, that is a corner bath you can see – it’s become a pond, so we’re leaving it intact. (And that’s my Mini in the background.)
We now have one and it wasn’t in terrible condition when we claimed it. It’s right on the edge of the city; there’s a greenhouse, a good-sized shed, and plenty of space for growing fruit and vegetables. There were even two old guys on hand, who immediately introduced themselves and started offering advice. One of them is a ferreter for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, and the other one immediately started telling stories of poltergeists and writes poetry. This place is not short of characters.