It's been a long long time since I did a post about my allotment, mainly because I haven't been there over the winter and have visited just once since last autumn. Today, I had to go, because I think there'll probably be inspections this weekend, and any uncultivated plots will likely receive a warning letter.
Today, was my only window of opportunity now that I'm volunteering at the CS, as on Thursday, I have an appointment to attend with LB. I decided to combine it with a dog walk and drove to near the allotment, took the dog for a walk from there and then headed up to the plot once we got back from the walk.
I noticed as I walked to my plot, that quite a few people on the site hadn't really started cultivating their plots yet, which made me feel a little better. I took my spade (which I don't leave at the plot) and my chitted potato seedlings, which have been tucked away in the boiler cupboard for a few months. I also took a variety of seeds that I needed to sow to get things moving finally.
The plot itself wasn't too bad when I got there. I had dug most of it over on my one and only visit this year, sowed some broad bean seeds and some parsnip seeds. As is often the case with the parsnips, they didn't germinate, but the broad bean seedlings were doing okay.
The main job that needed doing was to dig over the main bed, spread some potato fertiliser and then plant the chitted tubers. Before I began though, I had to clear some forget-me-nots that had self-seeded and were choking my gooseberry plant and I also needed to remove some problematic weeds that were encroaching from next door's plot. (An ongoing saga!)
Anyway, eventually I got everything dug over, weeded and then began digging the trenches for the potatoes.
It was a pretty tiring task, one which I sometimes get OH to do for me, but in recent years he hasn't been too accommodating in this regard, so I've just done it myself. I then sowed various salad, spring onion, beetroot, turnip, kale and spinach seeds. The seeds themselves were mostly pretty old ones that I wanted to use up, but if they haven't germinated by my next visit, I'll sow some newer ones and throw the rest of the old ones away.
I didn't take a before picture of the plot, as I just wanted to get stuck in, but here's an after picture of what it looked like once I'd got the potatoes in.
I planted most of the seeds in these two side beds. The rhubarb in one of these beds doesn't seem to be doing too well this year. I think I may have over-harvested it last year, so I might give it a rest this season and let it build up it's strength again. I removed all of my strawberry plants last year as they were all very old and I wanted to give the soil a rest from them. I may grow some more somewhere else on the plot at some point.
There's just half of the bed on the other side still to dig over (where the dog's laid out) and sow seeds into and then I think I'm done with cultivating for now.
There is some clearing work to do around this edge and at the rear of the plot though, as a big bush that was there and this big tree on the corner of my plot had been cut back dramatically by tree surgeons organised by the site committee since my last visit.
This will allow a lot more light to the back of my plot, so I'm going to try to clear the area at the back and maybe even grow something there. As I've never actually cultivated this part of the plot, it will be interesting to see if I can do so now. At the moment it's covered in ivy, nettles and bindweed.
It will have to wait for another visit though, as I was too tired this time around. It felt really good to get the work done today, as this was a major item on my current to do list that I can now tick off and has got the growing season off to a good start.