Today was a long day at the plot. Maybe not as long as you would spend in midsummer but long enough for our bodies to ache after a winter spent hibernating on the sofa under a blanket. As I write this both the man and I are slumped on the sofa exhausted, slightly pink and on countdown to bedtime.
As the weather gets warmer I begin a conveyer belt of sowing, putting seedlings firstly in the greenhouses on my balcony, then onto the patio and finally they get transported to the greenhouse in the allotment. Today the leeks, more peas, dahlias and peonies were taken down. The leeks and flowers went into the greenhouse for a few more weeks whilst the peas went straight into the ground. I have a whole bed full now and next week’s task will be to string up supports for them.
I also have 2 buckets of Mangetout raring to go plus 2 more trays which are just sprouting. My aim is to have continual amounts to use as a healthy snack at work. If it all fails then I will have to fall back onto sunflower seeds until my strawbs, cucumbers or peas get big enough to eat.
The main tasks for today were to burn surplus wood and to plant the rest of my main crop potatoes. I bought a bulb planter to try and reduce the digging which was excellent on the manured beds but absolutely no match for the ones which hadn’t had this treatment. It seems that clay soil takes more strngth than anticipated to slice through. Cue much grumbling before the man was enlisted to finish the job. The last bed was too much even for him and so I went to get my spade.
I was a little bit perturbed to find that it was missing from the lean to, as was my rachet loppers and my other fork. At first I thought I may have left them hidden under some junk but then it dawned on me that when my wheelbarrow was taken they must have taken the other bits too. A quick chat with the plot neighbours confirmed that everyone had things taken and thrown around the plot. I found my spade eventually but not the rest of the items. Luckily all my nice equipment goes to and from the plot with me so I’m only £10 out of pocket. Hopefully natural selection will pick off the little so and sos early rather than letting them grow into full on delinquents.
All in all today 6 potato beds were planted. 2 each of King Edward, Desiree and Maris Piper.
The man did a fine job of burning all the wood today as well as the top of his forehead and some hair off his arms. His health and safety compliance is a bit hit and miss at times….. The ash will eventually go on the onion beds and any left over can go in the compost bin.
Once at home I moved the herbs into the greenhouse, re-labelled some plants as the permanent marker had faded already, turfed the Marigolds out to the patio and put fertiliser pellets on my Fig, Orange,Lime and Aubergines. The overwintered Aubs have really picked up since being put back outside so I have high hopes for them.
Finally I watered everything, checked on the peppers in the office and then sat down to rest. I think I may need to resolve some of the brassicas as the germination has been patchy and the Zinnia seedlings are looking a little sorry for themselves so I may need a backup lot of those too.
Mangetout buckets in the greenhouse
Today’s harvest all washed for tomorrow’s dinner. Yummy!
Apple blossom on my Christmas present