The Easter holidays have been and gone, and I had grand plans for the allotment. The children and I were going to go there and build a pot store out of pallet wood, a new strawberry patch was going to developed and we would lay out where each crop would go this year.
Like many others, our plans were not to be. Torrential rain on several days meant that our allotment looked like this (the spot with the straw is where the strawberry patch was/is going to be):
Not exactly ideal planting conditions! (Or building conditions, or particularly child friendly. Have you ever witnessed a mud ball fight? I have and it wasn’t pretty, and resulted in small people sitting on plastic bags in their car seats for the very short journey home! Now they don’t come with me when it’s this bad.) The whole thing has been quite uninspiring so far this year. I’m just grateful that this is a hobby and not something we do for a living; it must be really tough for the farmers, whose fields look just like this too. Even going to the chickens was a messy business, the photo below shows the path down the side of the shed to get onto the back plot.
Having spoken to a lot of fellow allotmenteers, the growing season is around a month behind, and I’m inclined to agree. Usually in the Easter holidays, we begin planting seeds in pots in the greenhouse and the potatoes are normally in the ground by late March. This year, we have only just planted a few beans in the greenhouse, the potatoes are still in their bags and the other seeds are waiting patiently in their packets. As my Nanny said to me “if you were a little seed would you want to poke your toes out of bed just yet?” With the promise of warmer weather, I’m planning a little planting day this Friday so things like tomatoes and courgettes can get going.
One of the older gentlemen on our allotment site said there is an old wives tale about not planting anything until you could go on the plot in your slippers. Today when we went to see the chickens, the standing water had gone and it was all a little less squelchy underfoot. Mr C didn’t even need wellies (I wore mine as I’m less brave)! I’m feeling hopeful now that the growing season will soon begin for us, but I still shan’t be gardening in slippers. The raspberries that we moved are beginning to get their leaves now, and the rhubarb is thriving in its new patch. Maybe spring is on its way at last?