Thursday 3rd January 2008 - Weather: Cold Cold Cold!
So, 2008 is upon us. A new year. What plans for the plot this year. Well, nothing terribly out of the ordinary, just grow as much fruit and veg as I can. I would like to grow melons as I never have a good success rate with them, and I would love a small polytunnel or greenhouse on the plot to grow aubergines and peppers in, but that might be a project for 2009. My main hope for 2008 is to get to the plot more often and keep better order of things. I worked almost full time in 2007, which I know lots of people do, but it meant only getting to the allotment for short spells and during the summer holidays things really ran away from me. The other big thing this year is Marks involvement. He has laid down a challenge to one of my fellow allotmenteers - who can grow the heaviest marrow. Mr Chapman has won this prestigious contest every year for the past 4 years - Mark wants to put a stop to that lucky run. He has been on Medwyns seed site and purchased a selection of champion marrow seeds and he is going to grow plenty using different techniques. Of course, muggings here will have to look after them day to day, and he will get all the glory, but I don't mind. A little healthy competition doesn't hurt.
Anyhow, back to business. I was on the plot by 9am and boy was it nippy. Good job I had 5 layers of clothes on. My main plan for today was to finish tidying and digging plot number 2. Several hours of digging later and the top half of plot number 2 looked fab. The ground crumbled into a soft, friable tilth, so all of my compost adding is obviously begining to pay off.
Next job, Mr Scarecrow. Okay, so he will never be Mr Universe, but he looks much better now. I will try to remember some gloves for him and maybe a scarf as this cold weather looks like it is going to hang around.
Then I tidied the brassicas up. Pulled out all the stumps and the cabbages that had rotted. Why do some do that? Never grow properly, form a ball which then proceeds to rot. Probably something to do with a check in growth due to poor watering, but with my lack of site water, there isn't much I can do about that.
Lastly I had a bag of mistletoe berries saved, so I smeared them all over the lower branches of both apple trees. I know there is the slimmest of chances of any of these germinating and growing, but hey, I have nothing to loose, so why not. The blackbirds were really enjoying all the fallen apples that I leave under the trees.
That took me to 2pm by which time I was knackered and cold so I called it a day. Tomorrow I plan to take a saw with me along with the sacks of leaves in the garden to get my leaf mould bin underway. The saw is because I want to remove one very large branch from the apple tree that overhangs my fruit cage. I also want to edge the lower half of plot number 2 and tidy up the cardoon and globe artichokes on plot 1. Of course, this all depends on the weather. We didn't get any snow at all today, but according to the weatherman, poor weather is set for tomorrow so goodness knows what I will wake up to.