What a glorious weekend to be out on the allotment! Sunshine and high temperatures meant we couldn’t wait to get up to the plot and get to work.
With a car full of plants, plenty of cold drinks and the sun lotion, we got on our way. My mission was to plant out the courgettes and the remainder of the brassica plants. David was in charge of the runner beans, which were more than ready to go in the ground.
The ‘first’ bed in our allotment has always been troublesome. It was the first we prepared before we mastered the technique, and if left, quickly becomes a tangle of weeds. Instead of dealing with it and planting it a couple of weeks ago, I put it off. Big mistake! The couch grass had gone mad and instead of a 5 minute job, it was again a major exercise. The lack of rain meant the ground was too hard to tackle with a trowel, and the fork had to be employed. As this bed is destined for brassicas, I didn’t want to dig it over, but this was the only solution. Note to self: don’t put it off next time!
While I was a-weeding and a-planting, David was hard at work on the runner bean canes. Our bean canes get a few strange looks, but the ‘upsidedown’ design means they are considerably easier to pick. Alongside and keeping them company will be the Cosse Violette – climbing French beans which are truly wonderful. I only wish they kept their deep purple colour after cooking, instead of reverting to plain old green.
The lack of rain is starting to be a worry. Our 1000ltr tank is now only 1/3 full. That’s the lowest it’s been in 3 years and if it doesn’t rain soon, we’ll have a problem. Because our allotment is a very long way from the tap, we’ll have to beg or borrow 4, if not 5 hoses to reach the tank. And that would depend on enough allotment neighbours all being onsite at the same time. All in all, that’s as unpredictable as the vagaries of the British weather!
Another cause for concern is our swede seedlings. There are a lot of gaps in the rows and those plant which have germinated or survived, appear to have been nibbled by a critter or critters unknown. Although it’s a bit late, we’ll have to try another planting to see if we can bridge the gaps to provide us with a decent crop.
On the plus side, our broad beans are doing wonderfully well! Even the sickly ones, which had been left too long, have recovered and rewarded us with an abundance of flowers. I am somewhat alarmed at the quantity and think perhaps next year, we must remember we don’t really need 250 broad bean plants!
Finally … what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for … an update on the Good Life carrots. Nothing! 6 rows of carrots, 4 Good Life style and 2 conventionally planted have yielded not a single sign of life. Am I despondent? Well yes … quite gutted actually!