Today we made an unscheduled check on the plot to see how things were going. Also, it was a chance to remind ourselves of what the allotment looked liked. Once again, it has felt like ages since we have been able to spend any time there. Apart from a little bit of direct sowing of carrots, beetroot and radishes, everything else has been left to do it’s thing for a little bit whilst we catch up with work based joys.
So as not to feel completely unproductive, we managed to make a list of the things we need to do to move forward…(I do love a good list). In true Danielle fashion, I’ve now decided to post about the list in the hope that we might actually commit to it and get stuff done! If someone else knows what we have to do then there is more inclination to actually get to the plot and do it.
May 2016 – To Do List
- Cut the grass – It’s growing fast and becoming a bit of an embarrassment. I can’t help comparing the length to the other plots and feeling naughty for not keeping it tidy!
- Finish digging over the Brassica bed – The bed is 70% dug over at the moment with potatoes growing like mad things on one side. The Brassica’s are growing well in the polytunnel at home, so now we need to make sure there is a home for them before they outgrow their pots.
- Earth up First Early Potatoes and plant Main Crop variety – the potatoes are plodding along happily at the moment. They are actually looking after themselves quite well. Just a little bit more earth is needed to keep them safe from the April Frosts we’re getting over night.
- Clear the top end of the plot ready for the shed – That’s right, we’re getting a small shed. But, this will involve clearing out some piles of weeds, moving a water butt, shifting 2 compost bins (1 full of ants, 1 empty) and levelling out the ground ready to put some slabs on sand. This will be a big job. At least a day clearing followed by a day building the shed. The plan is for the shed to go up in May but this might go backwards. The least we can do is clear the space ready.
- Build the pallet compost bin, remove the plastic ones – I can’t stand the sight of plastic. It looks unnatural and invasive on my eyes so we are going to recycle some pallets which we’ve already put on site. This can’t be done until the top end is clear and the ground is levelled off.
- Dig over the Squash bed – In comparison to the above jobs, this is reasonably small. The bed is small and currently covered with pallets and other junk which needs moving but the digging over should be easy. It’s been dug over once. The plan is to loosen off the soil and add some feed, plant the squash plants and then put straw down around the plants to stop the fruit from getting soggy on the ground and keep the earth mulched.
- Start planting out – The polytunnel is currently bursting with Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Peas, Tomatoes and other seedlings which are yet to sprout. Some are very nearly ready to plant out in their final locations. Others will be ready by the end of the month. I now need to get over the fear that something will come along and munch them once they’ve been planted. I’m holding out for a few more weeks, just for some of the cold weather to pass, and then the Brassica’s can start going in and we can start freeing some space up in the tunnel for the plants that are going to stay in there for the season.
In writing the above list out, we’ve now committed to you, the reader, to get some jobs done. We apologise in advance if they don’t all get done but we will try our very best and, obviously, keep you updated on the progress.
In other news, there are currently some successes on the plot. The Rhubarb that Jon decided to trample is now growing well; the potatoes are already waiting to be earthed up again since we did it last on 18th April. The Broad Beans which were sown over winter are bursting with flowers and, as of yet, haven’t been touched by black fly. We’re keeping a close eye on them so that we can pinch out the tops as soon as the black fly strike. The Red Onions and Garlic are waiting for their first feed as they are starting to bulk out nicely and the seeds that were sown at the start of April (carrots and beetroot) are slowly starting to show their faces now that the ground is warming up.
All in all, there have been some success, some learning and some general slacking on the plot so far. It is certainly a learning curve for us as we plough through this busy time of year.
Wish us luck with the jobs (and please send us a few more hours in the day). Now to stop writing lists and get on with what’s on them!
Danielle & Jon