Week 19

This was a somewhat strange week in the UK, with temperatures in the south reaching over 30C. This is unusual for the UK, and we are not really ‘cut-out’ for these temperatures, unless we are sat in an English Pub on the Costa del Sweaty.

As a result of the elevated temperatures and my health issues, this was going to be a week of limited work, other than the essential watering of the plants. I was only going to be able to get to the plot on the Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday and the later was doomed to be wet! The plan was to continue clearing the soil from behind the old compost area, weed and water.

Wednesday 15 Jun – the first job of the day was to add and bag of manure and compost to the contents of the bath bed. The soil on the site is very fine and has virtually no nutrients due to them being leached away by the rain. Hopefully one bag will suffice for the pending lettuces, when they finally arrive!

Having identified load of holes left by the lifting of bramble roots, I continued to move the soil from the old compost area to fill these holes. Approximately three quarters of the soil from the old bins has been moved, unfortunately, the remaining quarter is riddled with nettle bind weed and bracken roots so will require the heavy artillary again.

Saturday 18 Jun – having spent the last two days of glorious sunshine stuck in the office, I was looking forward to spending the day at the allotment in the forecast continuous sunshine. However, the reality was that I woke to an overcast and humid day, it started to rain as soon as I got to the allotment and drizzled on and off for the next 4 hours. The final straw was the rumble of thunder!

However, I did manage to get the swedes thinned out and covered as the pigeons were starting to take an interest in them. All of the beds were watered, and I was able to lift the first load of 1st early potatoes. Just one plant was dug up and I was very happy with the crop of sweet waxy salad potatoes – variety Premiere. On returning to the greenhouse, I was able to pick the first cucumber of the year.

Sunday 19 Jun – Now, according to the forecast today was going to be overcast and drizzly. Woke up to clear blue skies and glorious sunshine. You just can’t win! I had intended to only move some plants and bits to the plot due to the inclement weather.

However, having moved plants, containers, and pallets to the plot and contemplating the meaning of life over a cup of coffee, I decided to plant up the 3 containers with their associated Butternut Squash plants. Using 3/4 of the old compost soil and 1/4 of peat free compost I quickly potted up the containers and placed them on the area of weed fabric just down from the shed. This would give them plenty of room to spread.

While I was sorting the area for the Squash plants I noticed a couple of very pretty wild flowers and managed to identify them as Hypericium Maculatum or Spotted St.John’s-wort and Verbascum Nigrum or Black Mullien. Now, with the exception of horsetail and bindweed, I always believe that a weed is only a flower in the wrong place, so decided to leave them as they bring some colour to the plot.

So, that ended a somewhat disappointing week on the allotment. Missing most of the decent weather whilst as work and getting messed around by the forecast. However, I did get the bath bed ready for crops and the squash all planted out. Hopefully next week will be a little less frustrating.

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