What can we say – its been a while…
The break from allotmenteering blogging is not due to a lack of allotment activity – quite the opposite. We have been very busy – sowing and planting, procuring useful items, digging couch grass out and dig, dig, digging.
Obviously we are well into Spring and the growing season, we have had lovely sunny and warm-ish days in Bristol for the majority of the last couple of weeks. So we have spent plenty of hours up the plot – its starting to feel like a second home – I’d love to live there but you’re not allowed to …
Our plot is still bare, but a few things are springing up here and there, motivating us to get on with some of the more boring but necessary jobs that need to be done before we become full-time plant carers and harvesters..
- sorting out the greenhouse – cleaning the glass, treating the wooden benches with preservative and most importantly getting all the blooming wood chippings out and those pesky wood-lice that have been living in it and chomping it. Hence munched seedlings in the beds. Lesson learnt!
- Couch grass extermination and management project – edging the plot with boards (old skirting boards donated by a friend)- hopefully deep enough to prevent the couch grass roots ‘jumping’ over into our plot. Also digging out all the roots of couch left.
- The bramble initiative – Although all the brambles in our plot have been annihilated we are still digging out roots of brambles in the communal paths beside our plot. They are a threat as long as they are in the neutral zone. Others we are kicking and stamping on and snipping and wrenching with our secateurs. We will continue to weaken our adversaries. Any sign of new growth will be attacked. A similar assault is being waged upon the docks in the path – which have massive tap roots and you can even pretend to people its a carrot – it kinda looks like one and is kinda orange!
The onions are up and looking good, as are the broadbeans and potatoes.
For a while Beener and I have been reassuring each other that the potatoes are fine and that we know that they take a fair while to come up and it doesn’t matter that Beener’s little un (who is a trainee allotment junkie) picked some of the sprouts off them before we got them in. However on Monday we could take the pressure no more and agreed that we would dig up and take a sneaky look. Very naughty of us, but we got the proof that we craved. I managed to chop one in half in the process, but never mind – it will still grow. If only we had had more self-control a couple of days later quite a few have broken the soil surface!!
In the green-house although all of our seedlings in the bed have been eaten by wood lice, we have many things started in pots and trays and toilet roll tubes. Watering needs to be done at least every other day – and we are thinking about ways of highering the humidity in the summer. Therefore we’re on the look out and sniffing about for some sand to line the floor and to put in trays to put our pots and trays in.
I have asked Beener’s youngest to devise and perform a rain-dance for the allotment – but only a few showers have come our way so far. So he clearly needs to try harder for goodness sake!! We need rain to help break up our heavy soil and to fill our newly positioned water butt. Another freebie donated by a mate.
So we continue to dig and chop and add well-rotted manure to the soil, nursing and encouraging it to be a crumbly loam .. Obviously this is a long, long way off, but its good to dream and we’ve come along way since December…..