Allotment

Snowing and Growing

This morning Dave called me as he was leaving work to tell me it was snowing. This was a surprise as although it was forecast it very rarely snows in this part of the country (Lincolnshire, in case you’re wondering), at least not enough to settle. It left the cars looking a little white but the ground was just wet after yesterday’s rain. My first reaction was to fetch the children so they could look too-snow is just so irresistibly exciting even at my age. Then I thought about my planting efforts yesterday when I went to the allotment ALL BY MYSELF! Some of the seeds I planted had the directions ‘sow in warm soil’. Whoops!

I decided yesterday it was probably time to get in some of the first sowings of things like carrots which I know we will want to continue harvesting for as long as possible. It was really peaceful there on my own-only one other allotmenteer who was building a glasshouse. It was drizzling but I carried on (when I looked the forecast was for the snow to miss us so I didn’t worry about planting seeds too much). I got 5 rows planted of various things-whether they grow or not is a different matter. There are: carrots, red onions, beetroot, calabrese and peas. I followed the directions carefully and improvised making seed beds by using the edge of a hoe. Any remaining weeds from last week’s rotavating were plucked out too. I realised that clay soil is an absolute pig and compacts again very easily so used this to my advantage and planted 2 rows a foot apart and left a 2 foot gap before the next set of rows so I had a ‘path’ which was allowed to be compacted. The compost which we rotavated in has made the soil a bit less claggy so fingers crossed the carrots will find a place for their roots to grow. I also discovered what the Mountain Dew bottles are for and popped them on top of sticks where I had planted. Hopefully they will scare the birds (the amount of bottles we have I think Dave is expecting an apocalyptic number of starving birds to descend on our plot) and we will see some seedlings in the next fortnight. If not I will try again!

At home the cucumbers have been repotted and so have the runner beans. They have made way on the kitchen windowsill for peppers and courgette seeds to germinate (in our recycled plastic packaging propogators-they worked well for the cucumbers!). There’s still no sign of tomatoes after 8 days so I have brought them into the conservatory rather than the greenhouse. I’m quite enjoying all of this, despite my initial reservations about having the allotment (in terms of time).

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DIY recycled propogators for peppers and courgettes
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Nice roomy new pots for the runner beans

I also learned one more thing yesterday, as I was the last one there when the heavens opened I had to lock up the allotments. Let’s just say it’s a good job no one else was there to witness me figuring out how the lock worked in a scene reminiscent of ‘Crystal Maze’ (showing my age there!).

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