Oh my goodness, how does it happen that one moment you think you’re all up together with the allotment, and the next you’re way, way behind? somehow it takes me by surprise every year – that sudden surge of growth and bursting into life.
Anyway, all is well that is so far in the ground – the potatoes have all come through and I’m doing my (not very good!) best to earth them up as they grow; I’m weeding the plot regularly; the onions, garlic and shallots all seem to be coming on beautifully; I have some baby gooseberries; I’ve cleared the last of the leeks and the brassicas to make way for peas and beans; and the few broad beans that survived the slugs, mice and other beasties have lots of flowers and are looking good. The autumn fruiting raspberry canes I moved look great. The strawberry bed that I enlarged and tidied when we moved the hens is flourishing – better than ever. The chard from last year is still very productive and delicious – I can see a quiche coming along later this week. The herb beds (one in the allotment, one in the garden right outside the kitchen door) are flourishing and at their best this time of year.
And the hens are laying well – one of the new girls has begun to lay (teeny tiny sweet little eggs), so we are now getting 3 most days. Plenty for us, for youngest son and his wife, and occasional boxes for oldest son and daughter-out-law whenever we see them.
Although some of the seeds in the greenhouse germinated brilliantly and are now healthy plantlets (thank you broad beans, peas, lettuces, cucumbers, mangetouts and leeks!), some failed to germinate at all (peppers, chillis, sweetcorn, courgettes, some of the squash) and some I simply sowed far too late to be useful (tomatoes, chillis, peppers) – I’ll just have to learn the lesson for next year, and buy plants for this year.
What’s next? – this week, before I’m away for a few days – is to put up the bean poles (the ones in the potato photo are my neighbour’s), plant out the seedlings that are ready for that, prick out some of the others, and arrange for neighbours to water the greenhouse plants and look after the hens. Weed everywhere and cut all the grass. And carry on eating the eggs and chard.