Spring is almost here

It’s that time of year again when it’s warm enough to go outside and not freeze to death, the sun has appeared for the first time in ages and you feel ready for action. So where to go? The allotment of course!

I’ve spent the last week stewing at home, becoming more and more annoyed at being cooped up. The only upside is that it has given me time to contemplate changes to the plot that were needed.

Change 1: covering the manky carpet paths with woodchip. 3 hours of shovelling and pushing a Barrow up and back the paths all the woodchip the local tree surgeon dropped off for free was now in piles inbetween my beds. The boyfriend willingly helped me for 2 of those hours then lost the will to live and I allowed him to take a breather. This leads me on nicely to….

Change 2: finishing off the raised beds. When i originally installed the raised beds which are made out of pallet wood it seemed like a good idea to stake the sides on. The only problem os tgat iver the last year the weight of the soil has pushed some of the sides over slightly so they lean at an angle. This restricts the movement of the wheelbarrow and has ended up with me having to lug stuff around rather than barrow it.

The boyfriend has been watching loads of DIY videos recently and happened to mention last night that he wanted to build something. Well luckily I had the perfect job to fulfill those desires; Fixing my raised beds together! Most of them had been done already by me but last time I was on the plot it was really too cold and I got frozen fingers so left about 10 unscrewed. It’s hard to have the dexterity to handle screws, brackets and a screwdriver when your fingers are numb!! Maybe I should see if they do waterproof thermal gloves? Anyway, I digress.

He did a grand job putting together the remaining beds and once I had finished shovelling/ barrelling woodchip we sat and had a well earned cup of tea. The sun came out and the birds were cheeping, it was rather wonderful.

Change 3: rip up old plants. Most of my beds have been manure and covered with cardboard for the winter, however some still have produce in. Unfortunately last year whitefly hit my brassica beds hard and fast. Before I knew it everything was covered in a grey sooty mess and even after scrubbing my kale etc I still couldn’t remove all the flies. It’s been languishing in the beds in the hope that some super cold, white fly killing frost will come. Given that the forecast for next week is 17 degrees I have finally concluded that it’s better to rip out the brassicas then allow the pests to continue plaguing me. It was fun ripping up the plants and snapping them in half to bag up but also a bit sad because I think I only got 2 cuttings of kale and 1 brocolli from 3 beds of plants.

After spending a good 4 hours together at the allotment we went home for some cheese on toast and homemade chutney. You can’t beat a bit of homemade you know!

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