Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Getting a Job Done - Eventually

There is not a List of Jobs in the world that means that you can starts with Task One, & move smoothly through all the other tasks until the last one is ticked off, when you can give yourself a pat on the back & have a guilt free evening in front of the tele with a cat on your lap & a glass of something lovely in your hand.


Lists of Jobs always have tasks on which have differing time sensitivities, or are dependent on one or more of the others, or someone else who isn't there, or can't be done until something else happens - something which is not even on the list.

Today was a case in point - I bought wallflowers at the Birmingham Gardeners' Show last weekend & they have been sat in a couple of buckets all week & need to be planted out, so with my list reading 'clear front of plot of summer bedding, plant wallflowers, pick a few beans, come home for tea', I nipped up to the Hill this afternoon with a trowel & weeding gloves.

Two hours later I still hadn't got the front of the plot completely clear of nasturtiums, calendulas & yet more gung-ho forget-me-not seedlings which are surely in contention for most persistent annual - the real problem is that the compost bin is completely full, & the other compost bin needs emptying onto next years potato beds, which are still full of parsnip & green manure.

A new compost bin of pallets needs putting up pretty sharpish, so that's a job for next weekend, & in the meantime today I started an overflow compost area - a complete mess, but you can't do everything all at once.

The compost bins are by this year's potato beds - which look like they are full of nasturtiums, calendulas, & a couple of stray sunflowers, so I weeded this lot out & added to my overflow compost heap & the beds now look a great deal better.

I don't think the tubers will be growing much more now, and there is still a risk of blight, so I cut off all the tops & cleared most of the weeds away. I managed to break my new ratchet secateurs that I bought last weekend whilst I was doing this - maybe I should have invested in that expensive pair of Fiskers after all.

I got the fork out and dug up the Anya potatoes whilst I was about it - not very big tubers, but loads of them - all this lot from just 3 seed potatoes which Julie (second best plot) kindly gave me in the Spring.

Neighbour Jody arrived to do some clearing of his plot too. His compost bin - conveniently sited near the front of his plot right by the path separating our plots (whereas mine is right at the back, by the toolshed) is also completely full.

I edged in front of his highly heaped bin so he couldn't see that the top layer consists entirely of squash leaves that I'd piled in the other day, & distracted him from the topic of full compost bins by asking about his plans for building more manageable beds, & where he was going to put a shed.

I can see that the French bean pods are drying out on the plants, so I'm starting to get some of them in for drying on newspaper in the attic room ready for storing (some will be eaten & some kept for growing next year) - & today I bought home some black turtle beans & broad beans.

Still with the beans, I picked some runners, then turned to the courgettes & squashes. I have a couple of Brampton Butternuts - seeds kindly sent to me from Cumbria - although I rather suspect that the seeds have not come true to the parent. One of the plants is smaller leaved that the other & bearing a few embryonic butternut squash shaped fruit, but the other is more vigorous and its fruit are big & pale green & slightly stripy & sort of squat - although I'm not saying that it is any the worst for this.

Given the lateness of the season, I chopped back about a third of these plants to stop new fruit forming & hopefully the plants will concentrate on growing the ones that they already have.

Time was getting on - Jody long gone home - so I got the trowel out and planted out the wallflowers.

So I did do what I set out to do, after all - but it took far longer than it should have done, so I have other Lists of Jobs still not done, which is why I am not spending a guilt free evening in front of the tele with a cat on my lap & a glass of something lovely in my hand...


  1. Even if there's only 1 job on the list (prune out old and tie in new shoots of Tayberries was ours yesterday) it still expands to fill the time available! I ended up weeding (I would have had to mow the plot by next week otherwise!) and then went back in the afternoon with the push mower and edging sheers to do the paths.

    Your wallflowers will be gorgeous in spring. My lottie neighbour couldn't understand why I'd edged my plot with nasturtiums.

  2. Hmm, Lists are alright if the required tasks don't have ruddy dependencies ...

    Yesterday at Bag End: want to put new willow screen against fedge, can't do that until soil levels are where they should be, which means lots of digging, followed by lots of barrowing beautiful Black Gold from original compost heap ... and so it goes on.

    However, you are demonstrating excellent skills in perseverance therefore are welcome to apply for the Honorarium known as Bag End Assistant Gardener .....

    BTW, Jody should thank you for adding such lovely stuff to his compost heap, want to bring some here? {snortle}

  3. so much to do and so little time always!
    Harvest time makes it difficult to get out of the kitchen let alone start ticking off gardening tasks.
    It all comes good in the end though doesn't it

  4. so much to do and so little time always!
    Harvest time makes it difficult to get out of the kitchen let alone start ticking off gardening tasks.
    It all comes good in the end though doesn't it

  5. The tatties look beautiful! All those just from three seed potatoes?! I've still got quite a lot in the ground but the shaws are starting to die back now so maybe time to do something about that - I'll put it on my list! ;-)

  6. I'm glad I'm not alone with my frustration with Lists, girls!

    The wallflowers looked a bit sad this weekend, Flum, but I expect they take a little while to 'bed in'.

    There's an awful lot of - er - heavy stuff to be done at Bag End still, Bilbo - my skills are best deployed, perhaps, at the stage of sashaying through the lavender with the gentle buzz of sleepy bees, a trug draped over my arm singing 'la la la' whilst cutting fragrant sweet peas or raspberries from boughs heavy with fruit.....etc etc {gg}

    You're right, Nic, it all sorts itself out in due course!

    Im pleased with these Anya spuds, too, Croila - I've not grown them before, and taste wonderful too - definitely one for next year.

  7. Hazel, you forgot the long cotton dress, in the style of Laura Ashley or a Timotei advert, and doesn't the song go tra la, di la

  8. (2nd try - Blogger obviously still peckish and eating comments)

    Hazel, you forgot the long, floaty dress-thing in the style of Laura Ashley or a backlit Timotei advert ...

    and doesn't the song go tra la, tra la, di la la


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