Thursday 16th October 2008 - weather: clear blue skies but breezy
Back again, what joy! Everything was still exactly as I had left it, no magic gnome had arrived in the night and finished all the digging for me, so with fork in hand, I carried on. I completely dug the tomato growing tunnel, watered it as it has a corregated plastic roof so it stays quite dry, then sowed some mustard seed. I know it is rather late in the season, but as it stays so mild for so long I thought I would chuck some in. It didn't cost me anything and the soil in the tom tunnel is getting quite fine so this should help beef it up.
I took down all the bean poles then. A sad job. I always think and allotment doesn't look like an allotment if it doesn't have bean poles up. However, they were all cleared away and stashed in the shed. I then spent 15 minutes just tidying up in the shed, just as a break from digging. I have patched the hole in the window, but have left a bit open to see if the wrens come back again in the spring and nest again on my old rake.
As you can see my lovely cosmos are still flowering their little hearts out and have been all summer long. These self seed at will and I leave them to it.
Back to digging. Backbreaking work, but the ground does look so lovely when it is dug. In the 6 hours there I still didn't get the entire back end of plot 2 dug, but I am over three quarters of the way there. What I did get dug and cleared had mustard sown and raked in, and then, as if by magic, it rained for about 10 minutes, so all the seed was well settled in and ready to grow. I shall let it get to about 6 inches tall, then dig it in.
In my various breaks from the boredom of digging I tidied my rhubarb bed, then mulched it with a layer of manure, I cut down the massive stems from the jerusalem artichokes as they were starting to flop in the wind, I started cutting down the old raspberry canes in the fruit cage, I pruned back all of the currant plants, I dug a handful of lovely carrots, pulled a lettuce, picked the last 2 cucumbers and filled a carrier with the last Red Duke of York spuds, another I must remember not to grow next year as they were slug fodder. So no to Epicure and Red Duke of York and Picasso I think.
Jobs to be getting on with when I next get back will be to carry on digging, cut back the gladioli and mulch them with some manure, continue cutting back raspberry canes, make a clamp for the beetroots as I have so many still on the plot and to sow some sweetpeas - a bit of an experiment as I have never sown directly before but Old Jack does every year and he has a lovely show of sweetpeas very early in the year.
Here are a couple of pictures of my weeded brassica bed. I don't have masses of luck with brassicas, don't know why, but these are looking okay and I should have a lovely harvest of sprouts in November and December.