Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday 23 and Saturday 24th September 2011 - weather: bright and breezy

Okay, I confess, I have been popping to the allotment for the odd half an hour to pick and start tidying up for autumn, but I had a surprise day off on Friday, so I headed to the allotment straight from the school run. The paths hadn't been cut for weeks and weeks and were very shaggy, and full of morning dew, but I managed to get the mower through them. As I was struggling with the dense grass between plot number 2 and my neighbour, a very long slow worm slithered out and I just spotted it in time as he headed onto the brassica bed and avoided the mowers blades. It is amazing what a difference just cutting the grass can make, like hoovering a room, even with the weeds, the plots looked neater.

Now dear readers, I could give you a blow by blow account of my weeding, but I don't think it would make for gripping reading. Let's just say I started at the top of plot number one, amongst the strawberries, and worked my way right down to the shed. This took the rest of the day but the plot looked fab after I had finished.

I have in my onion sets, 3 varieties of garlic and 1 variety of shallots. Also still growing on plot number 1 are...working from top end to shed end... wallflowers, perennial salads, strawberries, globe artichokes, turnips, chard, onions/garlic/shallots, peas, spring onions, beans, leeks, apple trees, fruit cage, carrots, chicory, turnips, spring onions, kohl rabi, spinach, swede, parsnips, beetroot, beans, rhubarb, Jerusalem artichokes.

A good day, and I met several new allotmenteers to the sight, young, friendly families so hopefully the site will be buzzing with activity next year.

Saturday was also an unexpected lottie day as I was planning to spend it in my garden, but the family had other ideas, so we packed up BBQ supplies and headed back to the plot. Whilst the kids built dens and played in the stream, hubby sorted out the waterbutts for the winter as I have been given another one, so they are all set up to collect every drop mother nature deposits. He then fixed the shed roof and re-felted it and then promptly emptied it and loaded all of the rubbish and unwanted toot onto the trailer and headed for the dump. I swept the shed and refilled it with everything I wanted to keep and tidied the area around the shed. I have to confess, it is all looking rather neat and tidy over there.

Whilst the kids cooked the bangers and burgers I started clearing plot number 2. I had already stripped all of the leaves from the tomato plants, and binned any suspicious, blighty plants, and already the fruits were ripening. Again, you don't want a blow by blow account of my weeding fun and frolics, but what I can tell you is I cleared most of the squash plants as they were dying back. So, still growing on plot number 2, starting at the top end by Darren and heading down to the stream there is a blackberry bush, Daughters patch with celeriac, carrots, spring onions and chard and on sons plot there are carrots, spring onions, chard and flowers. There are a few squash plants, like courgettes, marrows, cucumbers, plus a row of rocket and a row of lambs lettuce. Then we have the beans, tomatoes, chillies, then brassica heaven. Here we have sprouts, broc, cauli, savoys, pointy cabbage, round cabbage, purple sprouting and kale and at the end of the brassica patch is a long row of mixed beans for drying like borlotti beans. Plenty still going on there.

By now, the sun was getting low in the sky, we had fed our faces, and the children were becoming restless, so we headed for home. Visits will become few and far between now, just visiting to pick, although I did notice in our local nursery that they have an array of winter veg plug plants to get in I may be back to do some planting. Hoorah.

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