We’ve not done an Allotment Diary post for quite a while – that’s not to say we’ve not been busy.
We’re bringing you what we did in April & May… all in one go!
We cleared more overgrown areas for planting crops.
Some lovely young tomato plants donated to us by Trudi next door went into this bed.
We’ve also been planting lots of seeds at home where we can keep an eye on the young plants. Adelle spent an afternoon making these little pots out of old newspapers to accommodate some of them…
…and seed trays are full to bursting.
Young plants are then taken to the allotment to plant out – French beans in an old bathtub here!
And these little butternut squash seedlings have found a new home under their cavernous cloche.
The potatoes we chitted and planted a few weeks ago are doing really well – no frost, thank goodness!
We have them dotted all over the place in beds & bags – Jersey Royals, Maris Peer and King Eddies.
Strawberries are developing flowers that should become nice juicy fruits. This is another bathtub project which we’re very hopeful of – keeping them slightly elevated under nets should keep slugs and birds at bay.
We left these celery plants in their beds at the end of last year – they seem to be growing nice new stalks this spring, so we’ll see what happens.
Fruit bushes are looking very healthy this year – these redcurrants should be full to bursting come September.
We’re started putting up protection after last year’s crop devastation. Also, a network of canes are in place along bed edges at the moment. This is an attempt to teach our dog Fudge to walk along designated paths like Nigel the Golden Retriever on Gardeners’ World!
Other jobs included sweeping the very last of autumn’s leaves and cutting back overhanging branches which shade the plot. More sunshine for the plants and a bit of firewood for us!
We like to keep some areas on the allotment over for flowers – they look pretty and are great for wildlife. Many of them self-seed, so it’s just a case of giving them loose boundaries and transplanting where required.
We inherited a rather tangled and untidy rose bush which grew almost horizontally through the undergrowth. This metal arch should give it more structure and opportunity to flower – the brick path will eventually be extended beneath which should look great.
One beneficiary of some natural areas are the birds. We might not want them eating our strawberries, but there are plenty of insects that they can get stuck into. We get all kinds of finches, tits and thrushes. Our friend the robin has been a permanent fixture on our visits. You can’t leave your tools unattended for long without it using them as the perfect vantage point for freshly uncovered worms. We do have one bird problem though. We’re fans of Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie on 6Music. Unfortunately, we caught one episode where they said that the wood pigeon’s call sounds like “My toe hurts Betty”. It drives us nuts now – we just can’t get it out of our heads!
It’s not just wildlife that benefits from the untouched corners of the allotment. These nettles are growing in a rusty old trough at the far end of the plot. The young tips make great soup… and nettle bread was one of our recent Cakes & Bakes posts.
It’s certainly been beneficial to get going a bit earlier this time round – hopefully we’ll reap the benefits later in the year!