Have you been suffering withdrawal symptoms – I know that I have, with just the trips up the allotment to let the chickens out and then back to put them away – and also to harvest veggies.
I couldn’t even get there this morning as I needed to go to town which took up that.
After lunch though, the sun came out and I was up that allotment as fast as I could.
Stanley was coming down the track laden down with to carrier bags full of potatoes really wonderful ones, and HUGE. More of his early crop. He and his son have all the posh gear – tractors, super duper posh huge rotorvator and all the gadgets. They even have a potato extractor.
The variety is Aran Pilot and they grow them every year – so I might give them a go next year. They grow such long rows of them too and have so many potatoes rows left. Nice to sit on a tractor and let it do the work for you – I could do with some of that!
My plot looks nice and neat though, and wouldn’t you know it – the rabbits have somehow got in. Grrrrr. I took a photo last week of one of the flower beds that I weeded, and there was a 3ft tall sunflower – today it has gone – eaten down to the ground. Why oh why oh why for goodness sake.
They have dug ‘test’ tunnels in my newly prepared and sown grass paths – to think that I took all that time raking, treading, sowing and raking again to get them flat – only to have pesky rabbits dig holes all over them.
So one of my first jobs was to look for clues to see where they are getting in under the fence. It was a bit difficult to spot, but looking over to the neighbouring plot I saw a bunny roadway, and when I scrabbled around in the grass found where they had broken through – so had to use some of my wired plastic greenhouse shelves to repair it. For good measure I used five and went along the only gap in an otherwise, double wired fence. It took ages.
There is a new plan of action for next year. John and Stanley have an area which they have rabbit proofed for things they needed to protect. John made sections of wooden frames with chicken wire tacked to them – then just put in posts to support them. These are easily removed when he wants to get the tractor out to plough it all up when the crop is done.
Geoff showed me ones that he is making out of an old shed that he had – if only we hadn’t dumped all those fence panels – but you can’t keep collecting junk can you? Plus getting it up there was a big problem.
So – now that I have sectioned off into beds with grass paths the bottom second section of the plot, I am going to do the same up the vegetable end once the potatoes are dug up – or sooner if I can.
Then I can make smaller frames to fit each bed depending on what I am growing in it. I now just have to work out if I can do that with some builders’ pallets I have or whether I need to buy some timber. I can’t make the sections too heavy or I shall not be able to carry or move them myself. – A winter project I think.
I mowed the lawns again, gradually decreasing the height of the mower blade, but it was still too wet underneath to get it down to a No3. hair cut which I like. It went on strike before I could do the big area where we park our cars, but that doesn’t look too long, so it can wait another day or so.
As usual, I did some hand weeding and a bit of light rotorvating to get rid of the surface weeds, with my little tiller, so not heavy on the soil.
I picked more tomatoes – ripe and semi ripe to bake, puree and freeze for winter. the weeds are appearing again, and the crop doesn't look perfect, but I am getting lots off the plants, and those that are not up to scratch are fed to the chooks.
I also picked another pound of blackberries – which will be mixed with pureed apples which I cooked this morning, and I will freeze that until I decide whether to turn it into jam or pie and crumble fillings, again for the winter.
I make all this sound easy, but it some of it was very hard work and I was up there nearly four hours again – and I have the aches and pains to prove it.
I only took two photoes as I was too busy working and it clouded over and got quite black.
This one of the girls when I was shutting them in for the night. And the other the tomatoes netting - which will soon be coming down, and the area split up with grass paths.
Geoff turned up at 5.30pm and that is when he talked about the rabbit proof sections – a bit like a rabbit run.
I think that changes are afoot up the field, as apparently there was an inspection of the plots last week by the trustees and they were rather disappointed at the way so many of the plots have been neglected. Apparently there is a waiting list now, so hopefully those people with the plots full of weeds and just left rather than worked or maintained, might have a few words spoken in their ear. Let’s hope so.
Well that’s it for today – probably as bit of a let down for you all – out tomorrow so no chance to work on the plot – but hopefully Wednesday I will be able to, and not be under so much pressure, so will be able to take some more photos.
How many hours do you think that I have spent up my allotment so far this season.