Today was another lovely day, there was work to be done so I had an early start.Yesterday I managed to pollard the ancient willow – well, three of the stumps and there were another three waiting. Also I had a very useful find in the very back of the plot where it just looked like another compost heap. The two guys who had the plot before me were equally untidy and instead of taking their plastic pots and bits of netting home to throw away they just dumped it there and covered with soil. Amongst all this lot I discovered a ladder – one of the old-fashioned ones, a wooden one and that came very handy yesterday and especially today. I was able to climb high up and trim one more of the stumps and then Frank came to help and finished it all.
Not only the tree is done but also I gained another growing area. There was so much good soil along the fence that I took a number of wheelbarrows off and put in on another part of the plot where the soil is a bit heavy. This has left a nice border, one end has got a palette to keep the soil in and along the path is a low fence. I shall grow squashes and a pumpkin there next year, they’ll have enough room to run.
I shall dig it over to find more rubbish and some unwanted nettle roots but otherwise it is ready.
Yesterday and today was maintenance time – trimming the back hedge. Amazing what can be done with just one bow saw and long-handled clippers!
I have so much more light on the plot now. It is the ideal time to do this job now as we’re ready to have a huge bonfire. Some of the cut branches fell between the fence and the hedge, an ideal habitat for the hedgehogs!
When I started working on my allotment those ten years ago I had to create a large heap of weeds and other unwanted things that grew there. It was quite large and didn’t look like doing anything useful. I contained it just by putting some large pieces of wood and planks and forgot about it.
This year the nettles grow on the top quite alarmingly huge so I thought the soil must be good underneath – they like rich soil.
Today was the day to tackle it and these photos will tell the story better than any words.
As it is just in front of a hedge I had to cut the overhanging branches and ivy, all the ten years I wasn’t able to get to it. All this was done just on time as we are building a huge pile of burnable material so this went there as well.
The last job was re-planting my crab apple tree that stood in front of this heap. I had an empty spot in my new orchard so it fitted there very well.
I’m happy. All I need to do in the next few days is to dig the soil very carefully the get rid of all the roots and then put some wood around the edges and create a new growing area.
The soil is very rich looking so now I have to decide what to grow there next year – courgettes or squashes perhaps.
I finished the job the next day, starting nice and early as the weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon – this is the result. All the saved pieces of wood and some broken paving slabs came very handy. I will just have to dig it over to take out roots and other bits of rubbish and all will be ready for the new pumpkin patch.
It is not just the allotment that keeps me busy, it is my back garden as well. I have an old mulberry tree there, it was given to me by my late mother-in-law when we moved to this house in 1973. I had to move it to this position after a few years as I could see it was growing rather large. In the last five or so years I decided to pollard it and that seems to restrict the growth. Basically I remove the new long branches every autumn and very often I can take a large bundle of them to the allotment, they would grow freely, nice and straight and serve as bean poles later. That’s what I call recycling!
By doing that it opens the garden and I can see my rescued chimenea and also the birds can get to their water and the feeding table.
Last of all I trimmed the old magnolia. There is a large fig tree in that corner and it needs cutting down to size – everything has grown like a mad this year – but that has to wait till at least January, now is not the time to prune fig trees.
This is the start, next will be cutting the reeds in the pond, topping up pots with extra soil – the list is endless.
I went to my ‘farm’ today first thing in the morning as the forecast said rain. As it happened, it was quite correct but I managed to do everything I wanted. It started to rain as I was going home.
First of all I put three bags of horse manure on each of my freshly dug pieces of land – I plan to grow sweetcorn there next year and then I harvested some veg for my friend next door.
The soil is great, hardly any weeds.
I also managed to dig in my new little orchard where I grew all squashes and pumpkins so that land is ready for next year too. I have to decide what to grow there next year.
Each time I pull some carrots and parsnips I wonder how I managed to grow them so big. I have been on the allotment for 10 years now and this is just about the best result!
It was a lovely afternoon after a gloomy morning, I divided my day quite well. In the morning I went to my local B&Q to get some more soil/compost to fill the new beds in my two greenhouses. After all, today’s Wednesday and us oldies still get 10% off on garden things. Loaded the car with five 50l sacks of peat-free compost, drove to the allotment and put two of them by the new greenhouse and the other three by the other one. Enough hard graft for one morning so it was time to go home and get lunch. Fortunately the sun came out and sky was blue – a perfect afternoon for a spot of digging.
The greenhouse was an easy task, I just had to empty the two bags of soil and it is all ready for next year’s growing.
Next came a bit more serious work – digging over the ground in my new orchard. The new trees have settled well and the ground was full of squashes and courgettes. Those were harvested earlier and today was just right time to tidy it all up.
This year my vegetables are doing very well, looking somewhat strange but tasting even better than before. I was sure the ground I prepared for the carrots was well dug over and free of stones but they are very strange. Huge – yes but the shapes…..
Very tasty! The tromboncino is great and keeps well.
The latest harvest
They are some squashes, courgettes and apples – Egremont russets mainly, the other one is Elstar
After my visit to the allotment yesterday I decided to harvest some of the squashes and perhaps something else, depending on the weather.
I wasn’t disappointed. I got a number of different squashes, found some courgettes, picked apples and took a couple of blueberry bushes there from a nursery. Thanks to this I came in the car – any other day I always walk to my allotment, it is so near. Today I was glad of the car, the haul was rather impressive.
My plots were judged for the second time early in September, the usual in the city allotment competition. Now I can try and forget all about it as we won’t find out the result for some time. Today was one day that we didn’t have rain so I went down the allotment, just to see if there is anything else I could harvest. There always is!
My beetroot is just amazing – I can’t remember what I did to prepare the ground but it worked. This is certainly the best harvest I have had in all my years growing veg there.
Not just the beetroot, it is everything else – the last of the sweetcorn, runner beans, giant carrots and the best of all – raspberries! These are the autumn fruiting variety and they keep on giving.
Getting the second greenhouse certainly was worth it – another generous picking of tomatoes.
You can’t beat a home-made tomato soup!