Surely this has to be the hottest day of the year so far, it is gorgeous outside and of course I was in work all day. So on the way home tonight, Friday on the eve of the bank holiday weekend, I decided to stop off at the allotment just to do a bit of watering.
The gates were closed and the allotment was shut up although that is not unusual, it just meant that the public had gone home for the day… leaving the evening allotments people. They had not arrived yet.
I spent around 20 minutes watering everything that needed it. Although it has only been two or three days since I was last here, those days have been exceptionally hot and my new seedlings I planted (the new beetroot seedlings) definitely would need some water.
Everything was given a good soaking and I think by the end of it I needed to be cooled off also. Just 20 minutes in the strength of that sun has made me too warm and I was glad to get back into the car just for the air conditioning.
I should have had a folding chair and an umbrella and a nice cool drink so I could have spent about an hour there before heading home and cooking dinner.
It promises to be a fantastic bank holiday weekend, lots of things are planned including garden centre, hair cut, back garden tidy up, allotment watering and planting, and now I have decided… umbrellas, folding seats and cool drinks with the peace and quiet.
Contrasting with today’s news headlines the day itself is a beautiful sunny summer day. I decided I would spend the last of it down at the allotment. It has been over two weeks since I last managed a trip although the place wasn’t in a bad state.
I spent three hours (until 9 o’clock at night) pulling out of the weeds. My potatoes have all recovered and the three large potato patches are doing excellently. The rhubarb plants are being left alone now and I won’t be pulling out any rhubarb for the rest of the year but most surprising of all were the onions. I have many rows and they are growing excellently.
The allotment was empty when I arrived tonight but it soon started to fill up and there must have been about 8 people in the end. This is possibly the most I’ve seen for two years, and then two helpers from home arrived! Definitely 2 years! This was really nice… the little helper wanted to do some digging but also wanted to visit the rope swing and came armed with cat treats for the garden cat.
It was a beautiful evening, very still in the air and the heat of the sun had finished for the day. As we walked back from the rope swing through the Rose Garden we stopped for a while. The gardens of the main house back on to the allotments and although we are not supposed to go round the garden at night when everybody has gone home, there’s nobody around and the little one always wants to visit the cat and have a go on the rope swing. Can’t say no to that!
By 9 o’clock all the “last Tuesday of the month” runners have disappeared and the sun has started to go down on the horizon. It has a large pink and orange glow. We all head back home in the car and as I turn the engine on, the pips start for 9 o’clock on Radio 4 and we were reminded of today’s news. For a short while we had forgotten. Then I remember how lucky we really are.
Earlier this week, one evening, I checked up on the allotment. Just a walk through visit to see how the plants were recovering.
The potatoes had started to grow back nicely.
It was a warm evening and I had brought the little one with me… Cat treats in hand we also paid a visit to the garden cat and then carried on to the rope swing.
Beautiful May evening.
The BBC have reported about the cold frost last week… The air frost that hit last week caused “catastrophic” damage to buds that had bloomed earlier than usual thanks to a warmstart to the year.
Thanks to https://londonallotmentblog.wordpress.com for pointing this out.
It more than decimated my spuds, rather, it was almost an eradication. Although all is not lost and they should recover.
It’s been around three weeks (at least three weekends) since I last properly visited the allotment because it’s been quite a few the weekends of Easter travelling and friends visiting.
Early last week we had quite a severe frost. When I got up in the morning there were there was a thick sheet of ice on my car windscreen that couldn’t be removed without scraping. When I visited the allotment yesterday all of my potatoes had been hit… Badly… Everyone had gone brown and died back. Every single potato had been caught by the frost on that one morning.
After speaking with the neighbour she had also had a similar problem and although she had covered her trees and her flowers, everything had been affected and her potatoes they had all been killed.
But all is not lost. Removing the dead parts of the potato plants: the leaves that had gone brown, revealed new shoots underneath. Strong green stems which are still growing on nearly all of the potato plants and so although they will have been put back around a month, they will not have died out altogether. This was good news.
My onions are doing very well and they are growing quite strongly they have not been affected by the frost. I would say that 90% of the bulbs I planted have already sprouted a green shoot.
Today I got to the allotment at about 11 o’clock and spent two and a half hours removing all of the tiny weeds the little cress pieces that had started to grow. Then I forked over the whole plot just to make it look like it had been cared for.
The time is now 2:30 pm and the weather has just turned — we will be getting a downpour for the rest of the day which is exactly what the ground needs so everything has turned out ok on this bank holiday after all.
The six rows of onions that I put in around 3 weeks ago are all coming up… approximately 90% have already sprouted a beautiful light green shoot. There are no surface weeds which means there will be no competition for the little onion seedlings.
Although we had quite a severe frost last week it has not affected the onions in the slightest. I must promise myself to keep on top of the weeds to ensure the onions get a good start for the growing season.
It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve been to the allotment: it’s been nice weather. Easter holidays away. It looks like the hard work I had put in before going seems to have paid off because the allotment is doing really well without me.
This is exactly what I really wanted to happen. To get to a point where minimal work is required and just let the plants do they still do their stuff.
The potatoes are all doing really well, my early are all coming up already and my main crop is pushing through really well. The last three lines of potatoes are a little bit behind, however that’s exactly what I wanted and the onion lines I put in a couple of weeks ago have started to sprout.
Tonight was only a 10 minute trip to see what needed to be done during the evenings this week, and apart from some very minor weeding the only major task is to do some watering. This seems to be the most urgent task because it looks as though it hasn’t rained in the past two weeks.
So the jobs for after work this week (possibly Friday evening if I can’t manage it during the working week) is to turn up with a small rake for pulling up the weeds and a hose pipe sprinkle connection for watering my patch.