Certainly we’re in a better position than last year. All the beds have already been built, paths marked out and so forth. But the soil was still of pretty poor quality – whoever had the plot before us never put any muck down. Which is precisely what we did today – a truckload of manure has been chucked on top of the beds, ready to be dug in when the time comes. But for now, all of that juicy poop is a shot-in-the-arm for these beds. Suffice to say my back now really, really aches…
We’re not quite, but very nearly done for the year. The weekend was spent clearing away for the winter, and preparing some of the beds for spring. We planted garlic and onions for the winter, but that’s about it. I was amazed at how, even in mid-November, this still felt like early autumn. But there was an amazing light, complemented by the faint tang of woodsmoke nearby. This is the time for burning cuttings. At this point in the year I just want to spend all my time outdoors rather than behind a computer.
I’ve not bored you all with allotment stuff for a while, but things are progressing nicely. It’s mainly weeding and harvesting at the moment – we’re almost at the end of the courgettes and onions, but the runner beans are still going, and the first wave of carrots are just waiting to be eaten. We’ve still got some potatoes waiting in the ground as well. The big patch near the greenhouse has been planted with overwintering seeds. I’ve also ordered some more onion sets for us to plant soon. I’ve got plans to make a more formal raspberry system as well, with posts and wires. Now we’ve got a good foundation, next year things can start to look a bit more professional…
Having been away for two weeks, there’s a huge amount to do on the allotment. Mainly weeding, as the weeds have pretty much taken over. We discovered several enormous marrows had erupted, along with almost a dozen patty pan squash. However, as you can see from the top photo, we’re now able to cook full meals with allotment produce, which is just great. The flavours are so intense compared to supermarket produce – and the food looks real, not freakishly symmetrical.
Having handed in the second Drakenfeld novel before I got married, I can actually enjoy the allotment now without feeling too guilty for being away from the computer.
Well, I say haul, but it’s only a few things. The first lettuce is ready, though we’ve several others that can be dug up soon. The first pattypan squash are ready. We’ve had plenty of courgettes, too, but they’ll be a regular occurrence throughout the summer. And some more carrot thinnings – not the main crop, but they’ll keep us going.
Only now am I happy about the state of the allotment. It’s been a lot of work to get it to this stage, and there’s plenty more to do, but if you hit the allotment tag and go back, you’ll see how much we’ve done. The family popped over yesterday, and my mother was a weeding ninja. This weekend: nets over the cabbages, carrots thinned out, lettuce and sprouts planted, beans fixed to the wigwams, and lots of other little jobs as well.
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.