For non UK readers, last night our clocks went forward an hour. This means the evenings are much lighter (and the childrens’ bedtime is a bit of a pain as they are adamant that they can’t go to sleep when it isn’t dark!) Everything seems so much brighter all of a sudden (me included), the flowers are blooming, birds are singing and there’s so much energy all around. Spring seems to have arrived at last-the snow we had last weekend is long forgotten as we were able to go out without coats and hang washing outdoors at last.
The warmer weather has drawn Mr C and I to the allotment to actually begin tending to it rather than just popping there to feed and clean out the chickens. Our enthusiasm is renewed by the fact we have taken on the plot in front of ours too. We had it ploughed by a fellow allotmenteer for a small fee just before it snowed, and the cold weather has worked a treat to break down the soil. On Friday, Mr C went over it with the rotavator as the next step towards planting it. Apart from a shed, we have no plans to add other structures to it so we can just have it ploughed each year and use that plot solely for vegetables. It is still very much a blank canvas so we aren’t sure exactly what will be planted where. The new plot also provides us with a parking area, which is very handy for when we take larger items to or from the allotment. Maybe this year I won’t damage my shoulder trying to carry a full pumpkin harvest to the car!
Whilst Mr C rotavated, I turned my attention to rearranging our original plot. We’ve decided to keep that one with more permanent features such as raised beds, and dedicate it mainly to fruit growing. In some repsects, the colder weather and later start to spring has worked in our favour. Because we were waiting to see whether we got the new plot, we had left reorganising the old one until we found out. This meant that we were cutting it fine with moving plants to new places. I began a couple of weeks ago by moving the rhubarb crowns to one of the raised bed areas where we had put the chicken tractor back in February. The soil was weed free and had been lightly manured by our feathered friends, and gave them much more growing room. I’m hoping they like their new home!
We also decided to move the raspberries from the unloved area at the end of the plot to a new patch about half way down which had been well rotavated with lots of compost added in. Hopefully they will do better there, even if we lose this year’s crop because of moving them so late. We chose to use weedproof membrane on that area and plant through it. Even though we are trying to cut down on plastic usage, we both agreed that we would use it there as it is supposed to last 10 years, so it’s not just being used once and then disposed of. I’m hoping I don’t have to move them again as they were very prickly and I got one of the tiny thorns stuck in my finger despite wearing gloves-it’s a tad sore!
Our next main task is to organise a larger and more permanent area for strawberries, though we can do that over the next couple of weeks. We also need to begin planting some seeds at home to keep in the greenhouse until the last frost has passed. Traditionally, we do that job just after my daughter’s birthday, so that’ll be a nice activity to do during the Easter holidays.
As I mentioned earlier, the sunny weather has meant we can dry things outdoors. I grabbed the opportunity to wash (in baby friendly detergent) and hang out the baby blanket I completed a few weeks ago, and it smells amazing after being line dried!
I’ve also felt the need to do lots of spring cleaning and sorting in the house, and I’ve been squeezing in lots of little jobs between allotment visits. Spring is here, and I’m enjoying it! Are you feeling spring-like? (Or autumnal if you’re in the southern hemisphere!) What are you enjoying doing now that the weather is improving?