It's been more than a month since I've visited the allotment. Mainly due to the awful weather. If it's too wet, it just isn't worth going, as it can damage the soil structure.
I was intending to go this week, but was asked to do an extra day at the CS. I declined at first, but as rain was forecast I decided to go in and help out, as things are a bit busy there at the moment.
Needless to say, I'm now almost dreading when I do go, as I can imagine that it will have got a bit out of hand with the combination of rain and sunshine. The potatoes should be ready to dig up, hence my need for it to be a bit drier.
I'm definitely going to go next week, come rain or shine, as it's only three weeks until LB finishes school for the summer and I need to get it up to scratch by then.
Once I lift the potatoes, I'm left with a dilemma, as it will leave the majority of the plot empty and I need to keep it almost fully cultivated all season. I am therefore in dire need of plants to put in. Unfortunately, the couple of courgette seeds that did eventually germinate got munched by snails in the mini greenhouse, which was very disappointing.
All I have left are a couple of small cucumber plants and some fennel seedlings to take there. I took a look in a local shop that sells plants and they've sold out and aren't getting anymore in now. Then I went to B&Q, but no luck there as their young plants looked well past their best.
As is usual for me, I'd missed the window of opportunity to buy vegetable plants and my only hope left was to take a wander up to our local street market this weekend and see if anyone is selling any, or find a car boot sale where people are selling their surplus.
I was getting a bit concerned and then I returned to B&Q for some mulch and managed to eek out a couple of trays of half decent looking young plants, which were by then half price at £1.20 per tray.
I bought a tray each of climbing french beans (the previous ones I bought got eaten by snails in the garden) and a tray of mange tout, so these will be planted out on the plot to fill in the gap left by the potatoes.
Whilst there, I also managed to buy two trays of strawberry plants that weren't looking too great for 50p for each tray of six. I might not get fruit this year, but they will fill gaps and will flower and produce fruit next year. (They may even give a second crop this year too) As I'd previously dug up and discarded almost all of my strawberries at the allotment, because they were pretty old and getting a bit diseased, this will start me off again, whether I keep the plot or not.
As a last resort, I've also sown some different courgette seeds. I might just get some to germinate and grow big enough to produce fruit, if we have a long growing season this year. It's worth a try. I've also got some other seeds to sow, i.e. Rainbow chard, swede, mooli radish and kale, so I might be okay filling up the plot now afterall.
Meanwhile, the garden at home is doing well. The sweet corn and salad are thriving and I've salvaged some tomato plants from amongst the salad I sowed. Their seed must have got in with the salad seed. I transferred them into the sweet corn bed as they can grow through the trellis , and they will hopefully provide us with a few more fruit this season.
The remainder of the mulch is also down around the raised beds, so effectively the new garden layout is now completed. The mulch I bought this week is slightly different to the original, but not sufficiently so to be a problem.
How's your garden growing?