It’s safe to say that in the past seven or eight months my work on the allotment has been minimal. Holidays towards the end of the year, a new social life re-introducing me to hangovers and then missing the key-swap ceremony meant that I not only had little time for veggie growing, but that I couldn’t even get onto my plot. The war of the weeds was lost, couch grass invaded from all sides, and whilst the amphibians leapt for joy at their new home, Mary wept for my lack of diligence.
Having finally had a weekend when we were both free, we headed to the allotment and discovered horror; in addition to the dead squirrel floating in the water butt, our plot seemed to have grown a lovely couch grass meadow.
Today, after securing a new key and digging for several hours, the backs of my legs are locked in pain. But it’s a good pain. It’s the type of pain that you only get when hard work has been done and washed down with several evening G&T’s.
Work is moving on quickly, and I’ve already uncovered large beds of beautiful soil for planting in. No wonder the weeds were growing so fast; they had the perfect soil to give them a foothold.
Today, the first of the peas went in. I’m trying to plant more in situ this year rather than transplanting as it helps to acclimatise seedlings faster, whilst also giving them a better resistance against dry conditions. I never grow enough peas, and always make the mistake of forgetting to plant successionally.
This year I want to grow peas across an entire bed and plan to sow a line a week. I normally place two seeds per 5cm to take care against mishaps. Lack of germination can leave you will holes that need to be plugged later. Meanwhile, eager pigeon beaks often decimate a crop in mere minutes. I have found that the holly leaf trick works though, prickly little mice noses and keeping vermin at bay.
With good weather on the forecast, the coming week is an allotment blitz as I prepare beds to get in onions and spuds before its too late. And, with the sun in the sky, I may even get a little golden brown whilst I’m at it.