I think I’m losing the plot

… Not my mind. I’ve just had the allotment association on the telephone. The landowner wants to evict five plot holders to make way for a large mulching and compost area with tractor access. That would mean my area and four others including the huge plot in the middle of the allotment.

The more I think about it, the more I think this is a really bad idea. Not just because I am affected, but because it will take up the majority of the centre of the allotment: prime area. And it will also affect my neighbours. It will affect most people in the allotment.

I will have to say no and oppose the request.

I am meeting to talk about it with the other directly affected allotment owners sometime this month. These talks will continue, and will be brought up at the annual general meeting.

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End of December allotment check

It’s been on my list of things to do for quite a while now. Spare five minutes, drive over to the allotment, make sure everything is in order, nothing knocked over, weed sheeting staying down, is the whole place in a fairly tidy state? Is there anything that needs doing? What should I start to plan for the New Year?

The problem has been late nights at work, the darkness rolling in very early on in the day, weekends are taken up by other things. But. Finally after about four weeks of trying to find some time, I’ve made it today. The place is fine.

As I walked into the allotment, the snowdrops were out already. Signs are up for the public, and people were taking pictures. January is not even here yet, it’s the end of December, but I don’t even need a coat on it’s that warm outside.

Allotment is fine, most of it is covered up and the part that isn’t covered up is clear of weeds. The only plant that is growing on my allotment at the moment is the rhubarb. Such a hardy plant, it has started to grow already, although that isn’t a surprise. I wonder if it did any hibernating this year? The autumn and winter has been so warm so far.

As I make my way back to the car I walk past the National Trust cafe. People are outside eating their lunch and, although some people are wearing woolly hats and big coats, that is just for show. The ice cream shop is open, and some of those people wearing full winter gear are waiting in the ice cream queue.

Nothing to report for the end of year. Everything looks okay.

Probably the last day before 2019

On the way to the allotment this afternoon, about one hour before the sunset, I was going fairly steadily down the back roads when a silly pheasant walked out in front of my car. I slammed the brakes on, and missed it thank goodness. This I thought, could be the last time this year I would go to the plot, because the nights are drawing in very quickly and before long it will be too dark and cold to do any sort of work on the plot. The last thing I wanted to do was to squash something.

I arrived at the plot at around 3:15 PM. Plenty of time to do a small amount of digging along the borders, remove some turf, turn it upside down and straighten the edges.

I did most of it last weekend. All I really wanted to do tonight (this afternoon, although it is going dark very quickly) was to move the weed suppressant sheeting from one end of the plot to the other. Just to make the allotment ready for the winter.

I managed all of this. Probably this will do for winter, and unless the weather holds out for another weekend, I expect this will be the last time I will be going down to the plot until February or March next year, 2019.

I suppose, if the weather is good one weekend during December, then I might do some autumn digging on the clear part of the plot. That would be good. But that would all depend on the weather. But I expect with Christmas on the doorstep and the usual rush at work while panic ensues before the hols — it will be next year before I do any more.

Rhubarb transplant

A small job to do before winter really sets in. Before the ground goes hard. Before it rains so much my wellies become caked in mud and freeze my toes. I need to move the smaller rhubarb plant.

The biggest rhubarb plant on my plot has already killed off one of three rhubarb plants I had in. And the second largest is put under severe pressure so that it immediately tries to flower before getting overcome by its larger neighbour.

I know somebody who can give it a good home.

So, today’s job is to dig out the smaller of the two rhubarb plants that are remaining and transplant it from the allotment into a friend’s garden. It will have a better life there.

The smaller rhubarb plant is still much too large to carry on my own, so I am going to invest help in lifting it … from the allotment into my car boot. The plan is to use a large piece of tarpaulin to cradle it out of the allotment and down the main road. Then it will be transported all the way to its new home.

Just before going home. There was a small amount of time left over to make a start on the second half borders. Not much for done but at least it was a start. All in all I managed 4 hours at the plot today. I keep forgetting how much I enjoy going down there. For lunch I got a long sick and knocked down some high apples. There was nobody around all day except for a robin in the nearest tree. But the sky was blue and I got a lot finished. It was a successful day.

Remembrance Sunday allotment check after the parade

Most of today was spent at the remembrance Sunday parade. There were hundreds of people attending this particularly special day.

After that, it was time for a Sunday lunch. And then after that a trip to the garden centre to pick up some supplies for the garden at home.

At the end of the day, there was a small amount of time which I could use to complete a task that has been outstanding for months. A proper assessment of what remains to be done at the allotment and I needed to remove the weed suppressant sheeting that was covering half of the plot. This particular sheeting was the wrong type and it was drying out the soil.

Half of the plot looks fine. But the other half needs to be started.

A quick Friday night check

We returned a wheelbarrow which we borrowed from the neighbours plot tonight. The wind has picked up today and I also wanted to see if the sheeting had stayed on.

Pretty much nothing has changed, luckily. Nothing has been damaged or has moved. The grass is growing very much, and so things are slowing down for winter – this means there is very little to take care of down at the plot.

Other tasks away from the allotment are currently more important than the upkeep of the plot. My idea of making it low maintenance is still being auctioned. I will get there eventually.

The perk after mowing the grass

Midday on Sunday, the 16th of September 2018. I took a short trip to the allotment to mow the boarder grass around the whole plot.

This didn’t really take very long, but there were three or four people there I have not seen for quite a while so I spoke to them for 10 minutes each. Finally I got around to doing the border — that took about 20 minutes.

On the way out of the allotment I stopped by the apple tree at the main gate. Lots of apples are falling on the floor now and even more are weighing down the branches. I picked a few that looked ready to drop, and they came off in my hand. A perk for doing the grass.