After our abandonment of trench digging duty due to moon boot incapability, our second attempt went much better. We both set out for the plot early – ok we got there at 10.30am.
We were shocked to find a lady and her son working a plot two down from us. It is the first people we have seen in about three months. We had a chat and she seems very nice. Although it was a little unsettling at first, to see someone on ‘our’ land lol!
It got me thinking about the legendary allotment social life. I know of people who seem to particularly enjoy this aspect of being an allotmenteer.
As I chatted to the nice lady, she asked how we had got our soil looking so good. I explained that we had rotavated and added copious amounts of manure and that leaving our plot exposed to the elements was doing the rest. Now. She said that a lady she’d spoken to who had another plot on the site, told her that she had tried to use a rotavator on her plot but it wouldn’t go through the soil. I said maybe they got different soil down that end or sumfing. Although I doubt it would be that different- enough so that a rotavator couldn’t get through it (concrete!), or maybe the rotavator she was using was rubbish or maybe she wasn’t using it correctly – who knows… chat chat chitty chat. After a few minutes of pondering it was clear we were both chomping at the bit to do a bit of graft….
So ‘allotment chat’ – useful to learn about the history of your plot and, micro-climate, perhaps what grows well. But I like the fact that our site is quiet – not too many people saying ‘you don’t wanna do it like that’. So note to self – I will remember to take allotment advice with a pinch of salt and remember what works for one person doesn’t for another. The mystery, joys and pain of gardening. Its fun to experiment. To fail is to learn blah blah!
So with our sturdy, steel toe cap boots on, we got on with trench digging and got in two rows of new potatoes. We also got in onions (red and white) and some parsnips.
Wonky potato trenches. The get ’em in technique!
I also carried out a bit of formative pruning of our apple tree, the grand plan now is to have an apple bush. The espalier/cordon idea abandoned – much too fussy to manage. So I got out the
trusty secateurs and took out some of the branches to leave 4 well spaced strong branches, forming the structure of the bush I then tied down two of the said branches to ensure that they grow in the direction I desire. The ties will be removed when the wood hardens with age (maybe in about a year or so) .I then snipped these branches back by 1/3 to stimulate lots of lovely new shoots coming off these branches. The picture below I’m afraid does not adequately demonstrate the skilled formative pruning that took place!
Well I was dead chuffed with it!
This was about a week ago now and we have both popped up a few times to check on our crops. Its funny – no matter how many times I tell myself that staring at the soil does not cause seeds to germinate or potatoes/onions to sprout any quicker, I still catch myself staring half inanely and half pleadingly at the soil…