I realise that it is ages since I last wrote anything about the allotment. Maybe that’s partly because in my mind I was ‘just about to’ sow lots of seeds, and of course the post would be so much better after I’d done it.
Which would have been fine if the ‘in my mind’ bit got translated into action. Well it took a while, but I’m finally there. One afternoon this week I spent time in the greenhouse filling pots, sowing seeds, and labelling them. This year I’ve covered them with an old net curtain I picked up in a charity shop, which I hope will keep mice off the peas and beans.
Unlike the allotment, where I have only a modicum of success from my autumn sowing – there remain only 5 or 6 broad bean plants, looking healthy and already with some flowers. Which isn’t a lot to show for two whole rows of seeds. Likewise, the peas: even fewer of them. It looks like I was premature in declaring myself a winner in the Deborah v. mice battle. Still, hopefully I will fill the gaps from the greenhouse, and we’ll just have them a bit later and a bit longer than planned.
On the other hand, I now have 3 beds full of onions, garlic and shallots, all coming on very well indeed. I also have 3 beds of potatoes, and the first plants are beginning to show through.
I’m adopting the ‘little and often’ approach to weeds, which so far is proving very successful. And using the ‘no dig’ approach frees up a lot of time and energy for more productive things. The place I turn most often for guidance on how to do things is Charles Dowding’s website, so I’ve added him to my blogroll for anyone interested in exploring this. It really is excellent – especially his ‘what to do this month’ posts.
The fruit canes and bushes that I moved at the start of this year are looking healthy and breaking into leaf – they don’t seem to have been too traumatised. And youngest son’s efforts on the hen enclosure are the envy of many an allotment neighbour.
We’re already eating well from the allotment – purple sprouting in abundance, still some leeks (including from a neighbour who has more than he can persuade his family to eat), rainbow chard, lots of parsley, onion tops, chives, and of course eggs from the girls.
There’s a real excitement about sowing seeds, that sense of anticipation and longing for the crops that will (I hope!) come. Something to remind myself about perhaps when we’re groaning at the thought of yet more courgettes in August.