Allotment fever

5 Feb

Firstly I have to confess, strange things have been happening to me since I last wrote. I have been busy online looking for solutions to my water logged corner (sand/horticultural grit applied liberally) and thinking what next to buy (another fork so we can both dig at the same time and lots of compost). On Sunday I was poring over my new bible – ‘Allotment, month by month’ which a friend at work, who does book people, had near press ganged me into buying last year when I only had seven quid left before pay day. It cost seven quid and so she made her sale. Now I see it as £7 well spent. I used it to plan my imagined future  plots, my crop rotation system, what I will plant this month and next. I went online to read Tim Dowling’s column in The Guardian only to find myself drawn to an article about whether to sow now or wait till March. Last night when I dreamt about cloches I knew I had the bug, I have been bitten and so the only place to go on this frosty, windy morning was back there to see what was happening.

Over the weekend Ken had got some sand and dug it into the soggy corner. He also bumped into the site manager and made himself known (hello, we hapless fools are back, digging, being ludicrously optimistic, please don’t evict us) and site manager said the best thing to do was simply turn the earth over. Don’t waste time pulling out cloddy clumps of weed, just turn it over.

sand added plot


Today I tried that method and it sped things up no end. The sand has worked wonders – my mini duck pond has morphed into what looks like wet concrete – not 100% sure if that is an improvement but it feels like progress. I dug and also did displacement tasks to break up the monotony of digging – never underestimate the pleasure of marking out lines with string (handily left in the shed we inherited from the last plot holders, spools of the stuff) as though by plotting out the beds they will almost dig themselves. And I covered a third of the plot with tarpaulin so it now looks a bit like everyone else’s , though not quite as flat. By the end of my two hour session I had almost dug a third of the first bed – which equals about a tenth of the digging to be done. I’ll try not to let that last sentence impinge on my naive enthusiasm.

tarpaulin plot

the whole plot

                                                                  The whole plot!


2 Responses to “Allotment fever”

  1. Gill February 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Oh well done you two! I’m so impressed. I didn’t know you even knew what a cloche was – let alone starting to dream about them! I look forward to more updates and even actually visiting in the warmer weather! XX

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