I realised yesterday that I've been posting a lot about the gym and have neglected to mention anything about the other great love in my life, the allotment (made ya feel queasy yet?). In actual fact Sam and I have been working really hard on the plot recently, last year was a bit of a blip we lost motivation in the face of the never ending tide of weeds, but this year we're back on track.
- This will be the final year of fruiting for these strawberries, we had a much larger patch at the front of the plot but have moved the new growth to a raised bed towards the back of the plot. We need to plant something new in this part of the plot as the strawberries have been in situ for three years and we need to mix things up. We're probably going to put runner beans here, they're great for getting nutrients into the ground, once they've finished fruiting you cut the tops of the plants off leaving the roots in the ground to decompose giving the soil a good feed.
- I've got spring and autumn fruiting raspberries here. I planted then in September, they died off over winter convincing me that I'd lost them but they're coming back strong now, I doubt we'll get much fruit from them this year but hopefully next year I can get some jam from them.
- RAGE! The whispy lady who took over the other half the plot has done nothing! I'm being harsh, she's dug over a patch the size of a single mattress and put in some leggy looking broad beans o_O. Oh how I regret giving up the other half of the plot! The positives of this situation are that I want to distance myself from her lack of activity so have gone all out to dig our side of the plot over and get it looking as neat as possible.
- Two new raised beds installed housing broad beans, beetroot, spring onions and strawberries. They're made up of boards and bricks, they're not the most professional looking raised beds in all the world but I absolutely love them!
- The purple sprouting broccoli has finally gone to seed so I dug it out yesterday, I've left it on the plot for now because there were loads of shield bugs and ladybirds hidden amongst the flowers and I wanted to give them a chance to find new homes before I hack it up and chuck it in the compost bin.
We want to get another raised bed in the patch left after removing the purple sprouting broccoli, we've got just enough bricks but need to source some boards (we scan every single skip we pass at the moment) if anyone has any they would like to donate they would be gratefully received!
I'm hoping to get the runner bean structure up today with a view to planting out the 12 or so plants we have in the polytunnel when things get a little bit warmer.
Butternut squashes! These are one of my favourite things to grow, and thanks to Pinterest we've learnt about squash structures, we have everything we need to build an A frame with netting to train the squashes up. This has two benefits, firstly it reduces the amount of space the squashes take up (they trail a couple of metres per plant) and keeps the fruit of the ground reducing the risk of rotting or insect attacks, I'll let you know if its a success or not!
A bank holiday weekend digging weeds out in the rain might not be to everyone's taste but I like nothing more than getting stuck in, getting mud under your nails and at this time of year starting the see the fruits of your labour. The only other thing better? Perhaps that feeling of taking your boots off, having a cup of coffee and as biscuit and relaxing aching muscles on the sofa infront of Amazon Prime!