Sunday 17th April 2011 - weather: hot hot hot!
What glorious weather. Is this it though? Is this the 'Great British Summer'? As lovely as it is, and boy is it lovely, I really would love some good, long, steady drizzle for a good few hours just over the allotment as it really is becoming an arid dessert. Not good for germinating seeds.
Visited the old plot with the family today. Never sure how that is going to pan out. Hubby isn't a gardener, but loves all the tinkering around, building, dismantling type jobs. The kids get bored, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowely, but usually they want to head for home after an hour or so. Well let me just say, after a perfect six hours, yes reader, you did see that correctly, SIX HOURS on the allotment, we all headed for home, happy, sun bronzed and exhausted.
Number one daughter has decided that she would like to try and grow some veggies. This is a first. She has never shown any interest in the allotment, but chose some celeriac plug plants when we visited the garden centre over Mothering Sunday weekend. So, first on the agenda was finding her a spot on plot number 2 and teaching her how to plant plants. She quickly filled her little square with celeriacs, chard plants and spring onion seedlings. Number one son's plot is already well established with peas and lettuce growing quickly, so he added spring onions and chard to his patch also.
I weeded, watered, weeded, dug, earthed up potatoes and planted chard, spring onions and cabbages. Meanwhile, Mark rebuilt my tomato house giving it an even larger corregated roof than ever before which means not only will I be able to harvest gallons of rainwater, but also provide my tom plants with a warm environment which remains almost blight free even when everyone else on the allotment site have it.
We had a lovely BBQ lunch which the children were in charge of, something that keeps them entertained for a good hour and the local, meaty bangers are so delicious that it was a pleasure to sit in the shade and rest for half an hour.
Just as we were packing up, Darren, the fella who has the plot at the top end of plot number 2, and coincidentally, his son goes to school with my daughter, arrived with a HUGE water tank. Jealous? I think so. However, he told Mark that there was another identical tank just waiting for collection on the way to Maldon, so of he and daughter trundled to collect it. Whilst gone, number one son and I deer-proofed plot number 2 with that orange plastic netting that you see around road works. That should keep those muntjac off. We also harvested some purple sprouting broc, rhubarb and leeks. The garlic plants are growing really well and the broadbean plants that overwintered are smothered in flowers, although they are still only about 10 inches tall. There are flowers on all of the fruit canes and bushes and the apple blossom should open any day.
The tank is huge. Will there ever be enough rain to fill it? On the upside, it is in a metal cage so I am going to grow my cucumber plants up it. Well, why waste such a valuable growing space?