I had quite a long List to take with me to the Hill today - and I marked off all but one of the items. Mind you, I was there for the best part of five hours, so I should hope that I did make good progress.
When I arrived, I was alone apart from Woodchippings Paul a few plots down who was mending his new polytunnel - yes, that's right we had vandals on the site on Wednesday evening. I'm not sure that there was anything else damaged (it can be a bit tricky on your average allotment site to ascertain what is damage and what is normal), but there's no getting away from a slashed polytunnel cover, or a path trampled through the foliage on a potato bed.
With the warm but showery weather that we have had this week, everything is growing like mad - including the weeds - so before I could do anything else, the beds needed bringing into order.
Carl & Wendy by the gate arrived. 'Would you like some sweetcorn plants?' asked Carl, 'we've run out of room'.
Well of course, they would be most welcome - was I only saying last week that I had just half of one of the miscellaneous beds to plant? I did smile to myself - when Lionel gave up the back half of the plot and Carl & Wendy upgraded their half at the front to the whole plot, they were a bit worried about the size, and what on earth they were going to fill it all with.
With the weeding out of the way, it was time to do what I'd set out to do - I ticked each job off the List as I went:
- I tickled over the area which used to house a pallet compost bin behind the shed with a fork, made a dip in the soil and planted out the prize pumpkin plant - it's tiny now, but just wait!
- I found the stiff green mesh which I used last year to support the cucumbers, supported it with canes and planted out three cucumber plants
- I planted out the brassicas bought at Focus into the nursery bed - their final resting place will be where the peas & beans are at the moment
- I wrestled with some netting to cover the brassicas - I may have rescued a pigeon from where it had got itself trapped under some netting on teacher Barry's son's plot last week, but I don't think that my act of kindness will cut any ice with the rest of the pigeon population
- I planted a pot of leeks out into the nursery bed - they will be put in after the first early potatoes are dug out. By growing them on from the pot into the nursery bed, I'm hoping that they will be a better size when I plant them out - they were far too small last year, and not a success
- I planted out a pot of red lettuce, and one of green lettuce - I've oversown in each pot and have about 30 of each. My patience was running out by then so I split the seedlings up into 8 smaller bunches and plonked them in, four or so to a station.
- I planted out a pot of swede - no idea why I sowed these in a pot rather than direct, and I don't know how well they will transplant - especially as I was getting really fed up by this point, so did the lettuce trick and split the pot into four and planted each bunch out as one.
- I planted out the final batch of broad bean seedlings
- I gave everything that I'd planted out a good water.
And then for the fun bit of collecting the booty - forking up a pentland javelin first early plant which yielded a dozen egg size potatoes; a bowl of strawberries; a couple of small lettuce; a great bunch of sweet peas; and half a carrier bag full of broad beans, mangetout and peas.
Dinner this evening really was excellent!