Week 14

This is the first week of my fortnights holiday and the plan is to get as much planted on the allotment as possible. I am reaching overload on the greenhouse and cold frame and plants need to be moved as soon as possible. So, the plan was to plant out Climbing Beans, Runner Beans, Dwarf Beans, Peas, plus two varieties of Cabbage. I addition, I have carrots and swede to direct sow.

Tuesday 3 May – Today was a day of 2 halves (as opposed to 3 halves!) first thing in the morning I was at the allotment followed by the afternoon doing some potting on at home. This morning, following the repetitive removal of the Horse Tail shoots, I planted out the Climbing Beans Borlotto onto the A-frame. I planted out 24 seedlings, planting them 2 per pole, a method I have done for years with great success.

Before going home, I did a bit more burning of rubbish and the damned horse tail roots and strimmed an area next the gate at the front of the plot, more later! The afternoon was spent continuing to sort out the greenhouse and cold frames, potting on some cosmos and getting more veg ready for Thursday’s trip to the plot.

Thursday 5 May – A longer day at the plot was planned today, so armed with my lunch box and trays of plants it was off to do battle. First job was to completely weed bed 1 (brassica bed) where the ferns and horse tail was starting to make a takeover bid. It was a warm sunny morning and it felt so good to be weeding with the sun on my back and not a care in the world – just what we all need!

Weeding complete it was in with two varieties of cabbage, a savoy called greyhound and a spring cabbage, April. I had enough to make two staggered rows of each. once watered, the butterfly netting was replaced and it now time to weed bed 2 in preparation for the planting of the runner beans. Like the Borlottos on Tuesday, I planted them out at 2 plants per cane and then covered with netting to keep them pesky pigeons off.

Following a pleasant lunch, I headed to the bottom/front of the plot to continue the burning of the horse tail roots. Keeping an eye on the fire I also strimmed some more of the last of the wilderness before hopefully covering it with tarpaulin. In the process I made two discoveries, the first was that I have a large mature Comfrey plant perfect for liquid fertilizer.

The second was that whilst raking away the strimmed grass I noticed that the other weeds in the ground also starting to come up with ease. It then crossed my mind to bring this bed (old bed 6) into production for pumpkins and squashes! All I need to do is fully delineate the bed so that I can start turning it over and get weeding.

Saturday 7 May – Plan for today was to move the peas in guttering, french dwarf beans and a 1.2m x 0.8m pallet to the allotment. Do some weeding, plant the afore mention plants, sow some seeds direct and put the front on the compost bin. However, managed to do everything except move the pallet and place on the compost bin.

I had planted up two 1m lengths of guttering with Peas ‘Meteor’ at home about 6 weeks ago and these had been hardening off for the past week. These were easily planted as you just dig a shallow trench and slide the peas from the guttering into the trench without disturbing the plants. The peas were then caned, strung and netted for support and protection.

The other end of the Legume bed was weeded and the Dwarf French Beans ‘Cannellino’ were planted out. After a quick lunch, the potato/roots bed was weeded and two rows of carrot were sown ‘Resistafly’ and ‘Nante 5’ and well as a row of swede ‘Magres’.

Sunday 8 May – Just a very quick visit to the allotment this morning to water the plants and take up the pallet I missed yesterday. This was lined with a compost bag and secured to the front of the compost bin. Only taken 2 months to complete! It also makes a good storage area for bamboo canes.

In contrast, I spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon potting on some more tomatoes and generally tidying up the garden, at home, in preparation for a new set of garden furniture that we ordered last night. This, of course solves another problem – where can I get a free/cheap table and chairs for the allotment? Simple – I take our old garden furniture to the plot!

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