I have had another exhausting time up the allotment – but what a way to spend a dull miserable day huh?
It was difficult to summon up the energy as my back is aching from the different exercise of spending a whole day cooking and yesterday jointing the chickens and doing other things – so it was good to give it another work out.
Pat came with me today, to tackle some weeds on a bit of unused land. It was weed free 4 weeks ago, but the heavy rains meant that the weeds had really taken off.
I planted up the raised bed that I repaired and weeded the other day. It is an experiment - the plants I have put in.
Early in the summer I had some little Brussels sprout plants which the rabbits nibble right down to the ground. I was left with about a half an inch of stem. I potted them up to see if they would re-grow from that little tiny piece – and they have. It has taken weeks min you, but that too was just an experiment.
So it is these that I have planted. They will have no chance of getting Brussels sprouts on them by Christmas, but I rather like Brussels tops so even if I get some of those I will be happy. Otherwise it will be chicken feed.
Once finished that job, I decided to tackle one of the flower beds that was really weedy. For some reason we have got an invasion of Fat Hen weed this year – and I am sick of it. The plot next to mine (young tractor boy’s) is totally covered in it, with the exception of the patch the hedge end which did not get ploughed and ploughed and rotorvated. That bit is waist high in thistles and docks, and nettles. They get me as I walk down the outside path to the meadow to let the girls out. I keep cutting them back, but they just flop and where you cut them – on one stem they sprout about 5 new bits – you should see my arms today!
Talking of young tractor boy, the village grapevine finally reached me – and apparently the reason why the plot has been abandoned all summer again, is because he has discovered the delights of having a girlfriend – so an allotment plot, tractor, giant trailer, and all sorts of machinery, doesn’t even compare with the having a girl friend.
Still, despite me saying that I wasn’t going to bother, I decided to kick the Fat Hens into touch. After all the rains and the rain in the night, it meant that I could pull it out (holding it with both hands mind you) which is what I did for two and a half hours.
I still have to dig the bed over and dig out a few more dock roots, but it is nice to see the plants again.
The mint was gorgeous and smelt lovely. I wondered if I had done a silly thing planting a bit of mint in the bed as it can be rampant – but it hasn’t rampaged over into the grass path, and not too much on the flower bed – and it did keep the weeds off that patch, so I am going to take cuttings from my different mints at home and fill the rest of the bed with it – so it will be a lovely aromatic mint bed.
I have quite a few varieties in pots. It should look rather good, as the irises flower early on, so too do the delphiniums, then the mint will take over, and it can flower its little heart out and keep the weeds down. I would sooner have mint as weeds than Fat Hen any day. It smells nicer for a start, and looks prettier.
I picked blackberries two days ago, and we have had a day of heavy rain, and sunshine yesterday – and I managed to get another punnet of berries today.
I wanted to make some more jam, but dear-heart is desperate for a crumble, they look so big and black and juicy. So out the window goes the weight loss programme (joke), but it will be just a very small crumble – and he does deserve a reward for his three hours work up there with me today.
The chickens kept him amused and company whilst he was pulling up weeds on the bed he was doing, and then when I arrived to do mine they came to me. Then when I stopped to take some photos, they went back to him. Pat called out to me, as KoKKo had eaten whole a great big beetle that he had turned up out of the ground. He was amazed as she was so quick that the beetle disappeared in a flash.
They even followed him when he called tham, and he put them away for me!
(The three girls up the lottie and the others back home have certainly won him over – despite him trying his hardest to dislike them).