A quick trip to the allotment on Thursday was well-timed. The cursed pigeons had breached the defences and again savaged the brassica. As well as devastating some spring greens, our young cabbage and cauliflowers were also ripped to shreds. Fortunately, the young plants still have their centre leaves and will recover, albeit slowly.
We had no problem with birds in our first year of allotmenteering, which lulled us into a false sense of security. Now it is a constant battle of wits! Not only do they feast on the brassica, but they also seem to be very partial to peas. Now 9 beds of 13 are netted and the allotment resembles a high security prison! Surely the time will come when we do actually manage to keep those pesky birds at bay?
We’ve invested in yet more netting to make sure the barriers are impenetrable, and David’s latest bird-scaring device is in place. The CDs on strings don’t seem to do much, last year’s replica buzzards kept breaking off and spent more time on the ground than in the air … but this year … I think he’s cracked it!
My husband belongs to the ‘that will come in handy one day’ brigade. And the left-over slats from 2004’s silver Venetian blinds finally have come in useful! And there are plenty left to add another device at the other end of the plot. You can see them in action here.
Weeding and planting
Considering I thought there would be nothing much to do on the allotment this week, I somehow managed to spend 3½ hours weeding! And the Cosse Violette French beans were planted and the last 2 courgettes. All that remains to go in before we have a full house, is some more cauliflower and winter cabbage, and a few more leeks. So for another week, the plot is looking loved and cared for.
The mange tout fest has begun
Much to our surprise, we discovered we had some mange tout ready to pick. With only 7 to start with, they have a way to go. We know from experience the Reuzensuiker variety is very prolific, so it will soon be mange tout for every meal.
The first courgette (although still tiny) has formed and the broad beans are doing nicely. When we heard our Surrey allotment buddy had already picked some broad beans, we were a bit envious, but the weather here in Chipping Norton is considerably cooler and it does make a difference. At least that’s our excuse!
I finally forced myself to thin out the Swedes … always a heart breaking job. How I hate pulling out perfectly
healthy plants which have survived all the odds. It seems a dreadful waste to me!
Now … what will we find to do next week on the allotment, or has it all been done?