Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Four hours hard labour - but wait until next year - it will be worth it.

Have you ever felt that you have worked so hard, you can not move another muscle? Well that is how I feel right at this moment after working up the allotment for four hours, non stop.

The hail-stone storms have now shredded most leafy plants, leaving them with lacy looking leaves.

The squash, pumpkins, and courgettes seem to be tough enough to withstand the onslaught even if their leaves are damaged.

Most of the flowers too, although their heads are still bowed and their leaves are damaged, with a bit of sunshine they will soon recover.

The rows of runner and French climbing beans looked rather a sad state, but again, mainly leaf damage – there were plenty of bees buzzing around the surviving flowers, and I picked half a dozen meals worth of runner beans – which are now vacuum packed and in my freezer.

Pat came with me today, as he couldn’t get on the golf course – it was fully booked. He dug up another row of Robinta early potatoes, a nice red waxy variety, that is a favourite of my family for use in curries. Judging by their hints, we thought it was time to dig some more up!

We still have four rows of the maincrop potatoes that will stay in the ground for a good few weeks yet.

The chickens were hampering Pat’s digging up of the spuds, but he didn’t complain too much – and took great delight in describing how KoKKo swallowed huge great worms whole – should have very tasty eggs in the days to come then.

I was down the far end of the allotment which we spent a lot of time weeding over the weekend. I spent even more time today – fours hours in fact – preparing four new paths and sowing the grass seed. As we are due lots more rain in the coming week, it seemed like a good time. We should have lovely green lawn paths for next year.

The beds we have covered for the winter months. Not very attractive, but we get fierce winds blowing across from the fields and we need every weight we can get to keep the plastic sheeting from blowing away. I still think that they look better than the waist high weeds of all the other plots - and underneath they have been dug over and are clear of weeds, so that is one less task to do until next spring.

Because as sure as night follows day, if I leave them open to the elements there is still time for the weeds to grow and new crop - and a nice empty place for the thistle, dock and goodness knows what else invading weed seeds to land and get settled in. So this is by far the best option for me.

Next year, the paths I have sown with grass seed will be nice and green and wide, and the beds will be easier for my crop rotation system. I can leave one fallow if I wish and plant a green manure too, or if it all gets too much, I can just leave a bed covered and weed free until such times that I can plant it up.

I think that I will do the same in the main vegetable enclosure too. It takss a tremendous amount of work and grass seed, but will be worth all the effort now.

Next on the allotment agenda is to weed the strawberry bed, and finish weeding around the last four rows of potatoes.

I did make another for the bantams run - they seem to like it. It will keep out the bad weather and create a nice warm draught free place for them. In the winter all the chickens loved sunbathing as the first bit of sunshine really warms it up.

I am trying to summon up the energy to make some more pots of jam, so had better finish here and get peeling those apples or maybe not!


  1. the banties look snug in their new cover.

  2. What a great idea for suppressing weeds. As I have a huge garden and the weeds are way ahead of me, I'll have to give this idea a try. I'll have to see if there are local sources in Canada of the thick plack plastic you seem to be using. Any suggetions?

  3. Hi. Thanks for your very, very kind comments on my blog. I was almost afraid of reading the comments after being so personal. Your words helped so much.

  4. Anonymous10:51 pm

    Wow! You're doing a great job. I;m glad the chooks were enjoying the worms! Did you manage to see the eglu on The One Show tonight. Wasn't too good for the Omlet team really.

    Best Wishes,


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