Saturday 22nd April
It was still nice a sunny in the afternoon, so we made the most of it. OH had offered to dig out the weeds on the last of my raised beds.
This is the one that I grew all my salads in last year, and was a temporary bed for a few strawberry runners that have ever-wintered, and where I grew the perennial sorrel, spinach, and swiss chard for the chickens.
It took my other half two hours to dig over this bed – you would never believe that it takes so long to do something like weeding, unless you actually do it yourself. He now appreciates why I spend so much time up there and how sometimes there is little so show for it.
Of course the easiest way to work and allotment, it would seem, is to have, no permanent features, like raised beds, fruit cages, or fences, and no permanent plants, like soft fruit bushes, flowers, and veggies, like asparagus. Then you could just run a tractor and plough over it in no time.
But daft old me, likes a bit of character and colour and structure, and would find a 330 feet of blank ‘canvas’ far too daunting to tackle each year. At least with my raised beds, grassed paths, fruit cage, flower beds and yet more fruit bushes and rhubarb etc I have something to look forward to each year. And I can tackle a bit at a time.
So whilst the boy was busy weeding the bed, I got out my little ‘Tiller’ and went over the ground next to the potatoes and planted up 6 rows on onions on my hands and knees. I had started some of them off in a big polystyrene box that I got when I bought some fish a few weeks ago. I can help myself to them out of the skip as they go into a landfill site and cost the company a fortune to dispose of each week.
They very conveniently have drainage holes in each corner so I don’t even have to worry about that. I put in a thin layer of old potting compost with a bit of fresh mixed in, and sat the tiny onion sets on top of that, as close to each other as I could. At the time the weather was dreadful with no hope of planting them for weeks, and I was fearful that they might go so and mouldy as often happens. The just sat there patiently for a number of weeks, and had really lovely healthy roots when I planted them up. A good start for them, and less likely to be pulled up like the birds. I spent so long last year putting back onions that the pesky birds had pulled up!
If you enlarge he phote by clicking on it you will see little green tufts from the onions. I know that this is not particularly interesting to you - but remember that this is a personal record of my allotment year on year, so that I can look back as read and see how I did things, and where my crops were and how they performed. For example this time last year everything was really advanced, with the potatoes up and in leaf, the onions well on their way, carrots and parsnips sowed etc
This is a bit more interesting - my view across the allotments when I stood up after planting the onions. Open and ploughed and nothing yet planted.
The chickens love their new holiday home, and the eggs are even larger. I got three huge ones today – no record breaking personal bests, but almost.
Before I left I made up a dust bath in their favourite bowl – and they jumped in it as soon as I put it down – so I left them merrily bathing and headed off home.