Planting Lavender row

For the first time in over a year we went for lunch at the garden centre. That was at midday.

While I was there I bought seven large lavender plants for the far end of the allotment plot. The idea is I am building a large line of lavender that will grow together to make a small hedge like structure. This will be great for the bees! And butterflies!

So I headed off down to the plot, Sunday, the 6th of June 2021 at 16:15. There are quite a few people hanging around that afternoon, plenty of work going on on the surrounding areas, and plenty of people to talk to. There was a lot of chatting, and a bit of digging.

I put the seven lavender plants in at the far end of the plot, equally spaced across the whole length with an aim to make sure they grew together into a large long lavender hedge. This will take a few years.

Lavender row, first day

Next to that I put in six courgette plants which I had bought the day before at a different garden centre. So, that means most of the plot is now taken up with growing! This is probably the most, and varied amount of plants I have put into the plot ever since owning it…

Also I had to cover the kohlrabi which has been scoffed by the pigeons since yesterday when I put it in.

The last thing to do after giving the whole of the plot a huge soak with the hosepipe (which I fixed with a nozzle I also bought at the garden centre). That particular job took about 45 minutes.

After packing up and heading to the car I met Elvis the garden cat in the patch of grass outside the allotment garden. She looked very hungry, and I had some cat nibbles in the boot of my car. So after packing the car up with everything I headed back into the main gate and met up with Elvis on the grassed area outside the allotment gates. I spent about 15 minutes feeding Elvis.

Time now is about 8:15 at night and I can see the swifts and the swallows starting to come out to feed on the little flies and bugs, but it’s time for me to head home.

Bank holiday Monday quick visit

Bank holiday Monday 31st of May 2021. Just a quick visit to trim the grass around the borders! Time is 9 o’clock at night and it only took about 15 minutes, into the plot round the plot out of the plot.

I think there’s not much else to say, I’ve not been for at least a week maybe a little bit longer.

Happy turnip planting

Everything seems to be getting on quite well. The tayberry is full of flowers! It looks as though there will be quite a lot of fruit this year. The beans are doing well and haven’t been eaten! The potatoes are all in rows and popping up nicely. But probably the best of all are the beetroot! They’re doing very well.

The carrots. Wow! They’re doing really well I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did. I should be on for a good crop unless there is a problem with carrot fly.

It’s a lovely evening and it’s been the hottest day of the year so far. The coronavirus is on the downslope (maybe). Everybody hope so. The new cases are rising again, but the deaths have been falling which means the vaccines are working. The new variant is now becoming the most dominant strain in the UK is, so with the hot weather over the bank holiday weekend we fully expect more to change over the coming few weeks

Transplanting the tall potatoes

Saturday, the 22nd of May 2021. Finally I got up and out of the house, the rain had stopped and I had filled my bucket full of potatoes from the back garden. Potatoes that had been waiting to make it to the allotment.

New areas of potato planting from today’s visit

By the time I got there the sun was out and ground was starting to dry out. I mowed around the borders of the plot and added two more lines of spuds plus a large clump of potatoes from the back garden which had started to grow in one of the pots.

This large clump of potatoes grows about 5 feet tall, and it’s something that I would like to cultivate for the future. I don’t know what variety this potato is, so I will ensure to keep some for next year. I started off with just one from last year…

Uncovering the seedlings and cutting the border

Sunday, the 18th of April 2021, about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and the weekend is in full swing! It’s been scorching couple of days followed by some seriously cold nights with frost in the morning. But a very good couple of days.

I haven’t done much down at the allotment apart from uncover and recover the carrot seedlings every morning and evening. Just to make sure they were protected. And it was a good job too because the weather was -1° C and frosty in the mornings, and during the days it was sunny and very warm.

I’ve just uncovered the seedlings for today and while I was there broke out the strimmer to straighten the edges of the grass around my plot. These were looking about as fluffy as my hair before it was cut last week!

Straighter borders

Now everything is looking quite neat and ready for the summer.

The seedlings at home are getting put away every evening and brought out every day. They are are in preparation for getting planted! I can’t wait until this cold snap in the mornings has blown away. Then all of my seedlings will go in and the proper growing season will be properly started.

Mowing the borders on a Friday night

Just as the sun was setting this evening I decided to make a quick trip to the allotment to cut the grass around the border of my plot.

The weather has been really hot and sunny all week but I’ve been busy at work so I’ve not been able to make any time. Despite the weather being hot and sunny it seems that the plants are not growing as much any more. Things are slowing down, so I expect the grass to be pretty much the same as it was last week.

Evening sunset over the village church

I was right. I quickly cut the borders with the lawnmower. I took that out of the shed and then put it back where I found it within about 10 minutes. Then I emptied the grass clippings onto the new compost heap and used my fork to turn it over.

It was nearly dark by that point, so I made a quick trip to the cucumber plant and pulled off six large cucumbers. They would go home with me.

The sun was gone by the time I closed the allotment gate and got back to the car. It was going dark quickly. I drove home in the dark. The evenings are drawing in very quickly now, we are mid-to-late September. Autumn is on its way.

First main crop of cucumbers

Saturday 28th August 2020. It was a quick trip to cut the grass surrounding my plot. I took my strimmer because that would be the quickest way instead of having to unlock the shed and start up the mower.

Cucumber harvest

After streaming the grass and borders I collected the main cucumbers that were ready to be picked. More are on the way, but these were the largest and were just perfect.

I gave Elvis the cat a couple of snacks, then I headed back home. It was a short trip, but that was the point of spending all my time doing the borders over the past year, it means that I don’t have to spend a lot of time working on the menial tasks.

Handing back the long plot number 25

This morning at 6:45am I was down at the allotment (no longer fully locked down! although maybe partially) with one job left to do on the long plot against the wall: to finish it and get it into a state that would be suitable to be returned back to the allotment association.

Plot number 25, the long plot against the wall

I managed it in around three and a half hours this morning. Before the sun was too high and too hot was the best time to do the heavy work of digging and muck shifting.

Jobs that were finished today included: removing the remaining weeds, clearing the last of the soil at the far end of the plot, removing the last of the glass and plastics, straightening the border and flattening and raking the soil across the full length of the plot. Done! ✅

Happily I can now request the allotment association take back this long plot 25 and I will be rid of it completely! I only took this plot ok because it originally looked such a mess.

My old blog posting, I have this record: https://smallallotmentdiary.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/new-allotment-plot/

That was way back in 2016, and back then it was high and full of weeds. What’s difference! The plot back then hadn’t been touched for several years. I was surrounded by weeds on three and a half sides, so I agreed to tackle it just so I wasn’t so badly surrounded.

I remember the first day I tackled that allotment plot. It was also a really nice sunny was day: https://smallallotmentdiary.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/first-against-the-wall/

… now it’s time to hand it back.

More clearing of the long plot down the lockdown allotment

Today is Sunday, the 5th of July 2020. I was at the allotment at around 7 am this morning to clear off the long plot. Remove all the weeds which were getting up to knee-high, and transport as much soil as I could onto my main plot. I can see the finish line now and I want to cross it as soon as I can.

When I arrived this morning the ground was wet again. It had been raining during the night. But, like yesterday the ground was not sodden with water and the digging went quite easily. The plan was to do just one hour, but in the end I did two. It’s 9 o’clock now and I’ve just packed up and left the allotments.

First clearance pass on the long plot

Another 10 or 15 wheelbarrows were transported onto my main plot, but this time I was more concentrating on finishing the long plot. Clearing all of the weeds was the aim today. Handing back the long plot to the allotment association is now my top priority.

I would like to reach that goal as quickly as possible because yesterday the UK countrywide lockdown had started to get removed. Easing of restrictions had started. I am sad to say that I have not grown much on my main plot this year because of long plot clearing and also creating the path between my main plot and the neighbours plot. I would like to get back to concentrating on growing things again.

I cleared the majority of the weeds from the area against the wall and the only things left are

– fix the border edges

– clears the small patch of grass underneath the tree at the far end of the long plot

– rotorvate the long plot

I think that last step might be impossible because the machinery had been removed from the shed. Do I might end up doing that last part be hand. But in any case: there are only a few more steps remaining and soon I will be able to give it back to the allotment association and concentrate on my main plot from then on.

It’s been a few days …

It’s been a few days since my last posting. But I’ve done a lot of work on the plot. Finally, I’ve finished the path! The full length of the plot now has a proper path down both sides — something that isn’t a mild death trap as you walk. No more uneven surfaces and no more pot holes to go over on. A nice even smooth well proportioned path.

Robin keeping me company

A couple of Robins kept me company while I worked. They kept flying in and taking the worms and millipedes etc. They have such good eyesight to be able to spot those from further over on the far side of the plot. Then they sweep in and grab a grub and then dart off to safety. Once or twice they stopped to give the insect a quick bash with a flick of head, just so it stopped struggling. Then off again to wherever the food was going.

Digging through the brick layer again

Before I can finish the last section of path I need to dig through the brick later again in order to get my stake into the ground far enough.

A path that’s about 30 or 40 cm down under the ground and runs parallel to the short edge of my plot stops me from sinking my stake any further. It’s a well built path with flat white stones and a couple of red bricks. So I guess although it’s an old path, it’s not ancient. I don’t feel bad about removing enough space to get my stake in. It’s not like I’m destroying a path from the ancient kitchen garden or maybe an old Roman road or anything.

The first time the path has been finished

So here it is! This is the first time the garden path has been completely finished. It’s looking a little bit worn here because the turf has just been laid, but it should settle down over the next week or so and in a couple of months it should look like it’s been there forever. At least it’s finished! I can now start to concentrate on fixing the long plot against the wall back to the allotment association.

Too hot for Elvis

The weather over the past week has been exceptionally hot. It’s just too hot for the garden cat who can only manage a few steps before dropping into a border to try and keep cool again. It’s just been too warm for Elvis.

Wednesday night watering duty

Another quick trip to the lockdown allotment to water the turf. There were quite a few people at the plots all doing very well on their allotments.

Sunny evening

The sun had been shining all day long as it had been doing all week. It plans to be hot like this for the rest of the week and the grass needs a lot of water to ensure the roots take properly.

Elvis was around again, touring for cat treats and attention from all passing allotment holders. The good weather is good for cat attention it seems.

Superb sunset at lockdown allotment

Another quick watering trip to soak the new turf path tonight (Tuesday 18th May). It was a quick visit just before it went dark and had the advantage of being there for the sunset — as the sun dropped well below the horizon behind the village church.

Darkening sky

There was no visit from Elvis. The last two people were going home just before I arrived and I was quickly alone. By the time I got back to the car it was nearly pitch black.

Short turf watering trip at the lockdown allotment

So it’s Monday 18th and I have about 30 minutes free this evening … it has been a fantastically sunny day all day but I’ve been working. There just enough time to water the turf I put down yesterday.

Path nearly complete

As I walked around the allotment I could see all of the plots (except for about four) had been worked and were already growing something this year. As it turns out, one of the plots is my main plot. I’m not counting the rhubarb, tayberry and horseradish…

It shouldn’t be long now. I can finish the path give the long plot against the wall back to the allotment association (or hopefully a new person who wants a plot) and grow something in my main area. I have a bag of chitted spuds 🥔 in the garage at home just waiting to be thrown in the ground.

Another two boards today

Sunday 17th May 2020 and week 8 of the lockdown. I spent 4 hours 20 minutes this morning putting in another two boards on the path between my plot and the neighbours’ areas.

Before the turf goes down

I was down at the allotment by around 6 am this morning. Nobody was around as usual, the sun hadn’t quite made it over the trees yet, plenty of birds around and my friend Elvis. But that was all.

I made a start in the usual way. Lifting the turf 35 cm chunks at a time and then placing them next to the path on my allotment. Then I boarded the path area. Today I was doing about 3 m of path.

The large amount of soil I was using to fill in the path area came from the long plot against the wall, as usual. I think there must’ve been at least 30 to 40 wheelbarrow loads of soil to make up the new height for the path. This took most of the time!

The soil as it was being removed from the long plot had to be filtered of plastics. Still, even though I had removed the majority of the plastics and waste from inside the compost bin on the long plot, I am still finding pieces of nylon string and bits of plastic and glass. In order for them to be removed from the allotment I am not just burying them under the path. I am taking them off site instead and trying to recycle them. What’s the other option there? Take them home to send them into landfill? Out of one hole in the ground and straight into another?

I think after the amount of work that I did today there should only be one or two more trips to the allotment in order to fix the last part of the path. Then I will be able to concentrate on making the long plot usable. And finally I will be able to concentrate back on my main plot.

New boards, final leg at the lockdown allotment

The final boards for the path are going in. I have four boards left to put in and this is 1 of 4 this afternoon. Each board it typically taking around 3 hours to put in and this afternoon (Friday 14th May) was no exception. But the weather was so superb, being at the allotment for that amount of time was not a problem.

Cutting the turf for the path

The weather has been dry for a long time and this has made the turf difficult to edge out with the spade. However the dryness of the ground has also made it easier to cut the turf thickness and this in turn makes it easier to lay afterwards.

I completed another section this afternoon and cleaned up some more of the long plot against the wall. Elvis the garden cat arrived for some cat treats and then scratched the garden bench.

Scratching post

Finally, I had enough time to look at the three plants which are currently growing on my main plot. I watered around then I tied up the tayberry plantwhich has started to shout up.

Tayberry looking great

There is interest in the long plot against the wall I have been told this afternoon. I think there is more people on the waiting list for plots at the allotment. This is the first time I’ve heard of people waiting for allotment plots. Possibly this might be interested parties because of lockdown across the country? Maybe. But in any case, I should hurry up and prioritise getting the long plot in a good state to hand back and remove the soil I “stored” from my main plot quickly.

I was toying with the idea of planting potatoes on the long plot in order to fill it up with something so it wasn’t left empty. Maybe buy some black sheeting so it was covered up. But if there’s a waiting list, then I should quickly hand it back to people who would use it.

Wednesday night lockdown watering

Later on Wednesday 13th May, just before sunset I found some time to visit the allotment. It was just to deliver some wooden stakes I had cut and planks I had got for the last of the edging work.

Evening lights, exceptionally quiet 🤫

I have enough wooden boards now to finish the long edge, the pathway between my plot and the neighbours’ plots. I am still probably looking at around nine or 10 hours work to finish this border, however the end of the boarder work is in sight now! At least for the path between the two allotment plots.

After dropping off the wooden planks into the centre of my main plot, I realise that some of the grass I had put down over the past few weeks looked a little bit dry around the edges. So I spent 10 or 15 minutes giving it a good soaking with the hosepipe.

By the time I’d finished there was nobody around at the allotment. This is not unusual for this time of night, however there was no noise anyway. No car noise, no noise from the birds or the wind. Everything was deathly quiet as the Sun went down. It was lovely!

Rainy Sunday lockdown visit

It’s been raining here are a few days. But I couldn’t stay away this morning. Sunday 3rd May 2020.

One again I was up at dawn and down to the allotment before anybody was out of bed. Nobody was around and I didn’t see a soul on the way. It was just me and Elvis the garden cat again. And the two magpies, a squirrel on the far wall, oh! and a large pheasant that I nearly ran over down the back roads.

Elvis greeted me but didn’t really want feeding. It seems that she is getting fed. There’s a bowl in her bench next to my plot.

Elvis and her bench

The long plot against the wall is gradually looking better as an amount of soil is transferred across to the path fix-up. The level against the wall is decreasing as expected and because I dig it over at the same time, it’s looking good.

Still to go, there’s another half of the work to do with the path and approximately half of the long plot to finish, but it’s looking well on the way to being completed now and it’s working out exactly as planned.

Long plot against the wall looking clearer

It was quite drizzly this morning and so I was getting wet while I did another small portion of the path. But it wasn’t a soaking, just a light dusting. I finished what I needed to get done and cleaned up. The weather helped with the soaking of the turf as well. It was muddy, but not hard work.

Turf edge of the new grass path

I am now out of wood. The number of boards I originally purchased for the plot worked out as the right amount, but I have used the boards for other projects over the past two years, so this means I’ve run out. My next job before going any further with the allotment edging is to buy more boards.

Sunny Sunday watering trip to the lockdown allotment

It’s Sunday 24th April 2020 and we are at the end of the fifth week in countrywide lockdown. The allotments are looking better than they have done in a long time, and there’s a notice on the board to congratulate all those people who have been tending their plots! Well done!

Th not all the plots are looking perfect. Mine for instance is under black sheeting as I follow on with my plan to finish the grass borders. It’s looking good underneath however.

Then there’s the exception of the usual suspects of course. Some plots have not looked good for years and even when one of the only thing allowed is to visit the allotment, they still don’t look great.

Garden allotment shed door notice board

A quick trip this afternoon was to strim the edges of the plot and cut the grass which was getting slightly long in areas. This was finished in 10 minutes. Then I fed Elvis who appeared (possibly with the noise of the strimmer) and asked for food. Finally I watered the turf. All done within 20 minutes.

The place was almost empty. There were a couple of people over the far side, but they were leaving just as I arrived. Then it was just me and the garden cat left over.

It’s super hot outside, blue sky with small white clouds, slight breeze, mid to high 20s I would say: possibly too hot for digging at the allotment right now. I expect there will be more people later on in the evening when it’s cooled down.

Early morning Saturday path fixes at the lockdown allotment

Today is Saturday, the 25th of April 2020. It has been quite a marathon visit to the allotment plot today. Arriving at 6:30am at the front gate and staying for 5 hours and 40 minutes. This was planned and expected because I was fixing the path surrounding my main allotment.

Each 2m 40cm section of path takes approximately three hours to complete, as I discovered the last time I did a section at the allotment last weekend. This weekend I hoped to get two sections completed.

Two sections dug out

First job is to dig out the turf, each piece of turf is approximately 35 cm wide on the short side. This makes two of them fit in the 70 cm width of the path. Digging out the turf is not a difficult job but each piece has to be carefully cut with the spade to ensure it is the correct thickness all the way across the grass.

Adding the wooden border is easy after this. The width is 70 cm across and so the only two things to do are: keep it 70cm all the way down and then level it across with the spirit level.

Back fill the new path

The long plot against the wall is used as a source of soil for backfilling into the path. It is raised up to path height. A surprising number of wheelbarrow trips are needed to backfill this section. Each wheelbarrow was individually sifted to remove stones, plastics and weeds. The the soil was then stomped down and finally a loose layer added on top and flattened equally using a wooden slat.

The whole place was very quiet. There are lots of birds around however. Robin as usual, the large noisy pheasant, a couple of magpies that would keep appearing, some crows in the trees. Lots of small birds on the feeders. Every hour the village church would chime (one hour behind). Other than that it was quiet.

Turfed up

Then, once the soil level is ready for turf is replaced lengthwise. Each piece is carefully added and then the gaps in between is filled with more soil. Everything is compacted down. Finally the whole thing is given a good soaking with the water pipe.

Here comes Elvis

This whole lot took proximately 5 and 1/2 hours to finish. As I was packing up and getting ready to go home I saw the garden cat, Elvis. She looked quite tired and hungry. So when I return the tools to the car I picked up some cat treats from the boot and returned to finish the final job of the day: give Elvis some cat treats.

The lockdown is still in full force. There were a few people at the allotment today, but only 4 or 5 while I was there. On the way out of the gardens I saw some cyclists passing through. There are a few more people walking on the back roads and some more cyclists. But it’s still very quiet.

Monday watering the turf at the lockdown allotment

It’s quite late on in the evening and I finished work for the day. I thought I would take a quick trip to the plot to see how the turf was taking. And I really needed to give it a good soaking because it had been a very hot day today.

Tayberry starting

When I got there, there were only two other people on the far side of the walled allotment garden. I quickly on furled the hosepipe and gave the grass a good soaking. Then I started to soak the only three other plants I have growing on my allotment at the moment. The rhubarb, the Tayberry plant on the climber, and the horseradish.

Elvis arrived. Luckily I had some cat food with me and so I took a handful of that and dropped it into the middle of my plot. The garden cat was very pleased again.

Another allotment holder arrived just as I was leaving. That left just three of them as I went out of the gate. I was only there for 10 or 15 minutes just enough time to soak the turf I laid yesterday.

A bright Sunday at the lockdown allotments

Sunday, the 19th of April 2020. I was up early again, the car was already packed with planks of wood, a saw, a drill, spirit level, some wooden stakes I cut yesterday, … etc. I got straight in the car and set off.

As I was driving down the quiet back roads towards the allotment I suddenly remembered I’d forgotten my spade. It was hanging up in the garage and I had meant to pick it up before I left !! I knew I should’ve left a reminder, something to prompt me before I got in the car.

I carried the wooden planks from the car through to the allotment, then as I returned for the wooden stakes I met Elvis the cat. She was waiting by the open gate. Looking like she has just woken up. I had remembered to pack some cat treats this time and they were in the car boot so as I picked up the last of the wood I also grabbed a bag of food for Elvis.

Happy Elvis

The cat looked very pleased. I left her sitting in the middle of my plot with a large handful of dried catfood. Then I walked back to the car and drove home.

I returned later that day, this time with all the equipment I needed to start digging the borders of the plot. This would be the first time I would be creating a proper path between the two allotment plots. Probably this has been two or three years in the making to get here.

Border path

The minimum width for a path (according to the allotment manual) is 50 cm. The one I’m creating is 70 cm wide. that should be enough.

I am reusing the turf that already exists between the two plots. So the first job is to dig it up in sections.

After that I also need soil from the long plot against the wall and so I wheelbarrow that into the space I had created for the path. Then I relay the turf on top. It looks quite good by the time I’m finished. Although this is taking a lot longer than I expected. Normally each straight plank of wood I put down takes about an hour to get finished. I expected maybe another hour for the rest of the job. But in the end the whole job took 3 hours to complete just one section. I had underestimated again: put in the border plank, dig up the turf and strip the soil so it was flat, wheelbarrow soil and the lay the turf back.

There are another six sections to do. This should take quite a long time but will be worth it by the end. Once the border is finished spending time cutting the grass around my plot will be minimal. And as a side effect along plot against the wall will also be dug over and finished as well.

I will not be growing anything on my main plot this year because I will be too busy finishing the grass borders and the long plot against the wall.

Easter Monday Lockdown Allotment 🐣 🔐 🌱

Up at dawn. Down at the allotment by 6:30am. There was nobody around again, either on the way there, or while I was there. I was all alone.

Task list today … this was quite light. I had to flatten some of the soil on the long plot due to the digging I did last time. I found another rhubarb plant underneath the black sheeting, so I transferred that to the long plot. I tied up the Tayberry and transplanted a small Tayberry seedling onto a spare vertical space on the trellis.

Allotment garden, a view towards the local church

After that I was pretty much done! So I took a quick walk around the allotment garden. There is plenty of work going on and a lot of the allotments look amazing. I think this is probably going towards the best I have seen it in a very long time. People are doing quite a lot of work down on their plots.

My main plot has one long border completed.

My main plot is looking, well… It’s looking covered up. The edges are looking a lot better and I need probably at least another six boards to finish all four sides. Probably that will wait though. I really need to make a start on the path between my main plot any my neighbour’s area.

It is all very under control …

Good Friday lockdown allotment visit

Today is Friday April 10, 2020. It is my day off work and as usual I am up at dawn. But, this time instead of the commute from the bedroom downstairs into the small room… instead of sitting inside in front of the computer all day (which I would be doing anyway) instead of all that: it’s a bank holiday so, I had planned a quick trip to the allotment for my daily allowed exercise.

The car was packed and ready, my bag was packed and all my clothes laid out (on the floor — you can’t tell the difference there either). Within 10 minutes of waking up, I was in the car and had set off, travelling the short way to the plot.

No one is usually around at this time in the morning anyway but even more so during the country-wide lockdown.

I didn’t see a soul as I drove down the back roads through the fields, not a thing on the roads except for the rabbit that was racing me on the grass verge. There was nobody around as I unlocked the main gate with a sanitation wipe, nobody except for the two peasants strutting around the front gate and in the middle of the road outside. There was nobody in the main grounds or in front of the house as I walked past, not a thing except for sheep and new born lambs walking around the fields and sheltering under the trees. No one at all in the gardens or inside the walled allotment, no body except for Elvis the garden cat (sorry Elvis I forgot your treats again!) … I was all alone. No voices or car noises in the distance, no bells marking congregations from the village church, no contrails in the sky, only a couple of ducks flying past.

The borders of the long plot are looking straighter and neater. I’ve finished one long side on my main plot. The long plot against the wall has started to go into shape as well! As I look around, the other allotment owners are holding up their side of the schizophrenic country by digging their plots.

Lockdown allotment visit on Sunday 4th April 2020

I was up early again. Out of bed, dressed ready for the plot, into the car which was already pre-packed with all the equipment I needed, and then I set off for the allotment.

I saw nobody. There was nobody around outside the house, I saw no cars or any person on the way to the allotment and then when I got there I saw nobody as I travelled through the main gate past the front of the main house (the fields were full of newborn lambs) and into the allotment garden. It was empty.

As I entered into the walled garden I was met by Elvis the garden cat! This is the first time I’ve seen Elvis this year! Honestly, I was beginning to wonder whether she had survived the winter or not?! And because of this I wasn’t prepared: I did not have any cat food with me and there wasn’t any in the boot of my car either. Unfortunately that meant Elvis wasn’t getting any treats from me today.

I started work instead. On the list of jobs to do today:
– Strim the edges and borders of both plots
– Continue boarding out the far edge of my main plot
– Add three more slats to the Tayberry climber

This little lot took about three hours to complete.

The weather this weekend has been fantastic. It’s been sunny and bright outside and not too hot. Just right for working down at the plot. For most of the morning I had company from Elvis and a rather large pheasant that was easily spooked every time I hit the wooden stakes with the mallet.

I was finished by 11 am. I had packed up and was ready to go back home. Everything was strimmed neatly and the border is looking a lot better. I added two more boards in-line with the rest. Just one more board now before I reach the end of the plot. I’m not very far away from finishing one long edge at last!

As I walked back to the car I made sure all the gates were closed properly. For some reason all of the gates were open this morning. The front gate, the middle gate into the gardens and the gate into the allotment were all wide open. That was strange because the only main directive we have been given is to close all gates after use.

Full cover up for the first time

Tonight I left work early and made it to the allotment before sunset. I made it with 1 hour to spare! So there was plenty of time to do a little digging before it went dark.

Full cover up

With a little bit of digging and clearing completed I was able to finally move the compost bin onto my adjacent plot and start the main cover up. I converted the whole plot with black sheeting. For the very first time! This marks the first time I’ve ever had the whole plot clear since taking it on.

Way back on the 7th March 2015. Nearly 5 years ago. My previous diary shows what it used to look like. A lot of work has gone into clearing this plot piece by piece. It has been a slow process but deliberately so.

https://smallallotmentdiary.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/first-day/

So, I was pleased to finish that job and now I am ready to clear the other adjacent area and start transferring soil back onto the main plot. Also I can now start the biggest job: the final border.

That job will take the remainder of the year I think. I will not grow anything this year, instead I will spend my time fixing the borders of this main plot and clearing the secondary plot near the wall so I can hand that one back to the Allotment Association.

A very long Sunday at the allotment

Today is Sunday, the 16th of June. From 2 o’clock until 7 o’clock in the evening I have been down the allotment. Today’s plan was to unwrap the last of the plot, folding up the sheeting, and making use of the last half of the plot. Elvis the garden cat arrived shortly after I got there, and definitely wanted feeding. So Elvis had her lunch while I prepared to do the work.

Also on the list of things to do was to trim the grass around the borders. So, I brought my electric strimmer and quickly whizzed around the edges. It only took about 5 or 10 minutes and it looked a lot better.

The main bulk of the work was to remove the sheeting and fork over the part of the plot that hasn’t seen daylight this year. Also I had to build my small raised bed area. This is an experiment to stop the slugs, without using any slug pellets. this small area will contain a densely packed plot of lettuce and cabbage, or various varieties.

The idea is to leave space so that I can finish off the edges of the border on the allotment, while at the same time being able to get at the lettuce and cabbage to make sure there are no slugs and snails munching on them. A small area was also flattened and dug over to make space for some cucumbers: eight of them. These have been purchased from the garden centre close by this morning, which we visited for breakfast.

The marrow and the pumpkin have also gone in, in a small spot that was available next to the rhubarb.

The plot looks quite full now. All that is left is to make another raised bed area and plant some more lettuce and cabbage. Everything went to plan today. I managed to get quite a lot done.

A quick evening trip on Saturday night

It is Saturday, the 15th of June and the time is just past 9 o’clock. I have been to the allotment for a quick scout around, just to see what jobs there are with the hope that I can go early tomorrow and finish a few.

This weekend other members of the allotment have been clearing out the garden shed. I don’t think anybody has looked at the contents of the garden shed very closely for at least 20 years. It looks a lot better now though. They have done quite a lot of work today sorting out tools and clearing the shed completely. Everything is back in its place now and instructions have been given for people to name their items otherwise they will become communal. Communal with a letter C branded on them.

I expect that quite a lot of the equipment found in the garden shed will have no owner. Some of it looks as though it’s been there for 100 years.

My allotment doesn’t look too bad, the borders are looking fairly fairly neat but the grass needs cutting. I will have to take my strimmer with me tomorrow morning to do as much as I can. Both of the lawnmowers, the ones that people use communally are both broken.

I have picked up a lettuce from my lettuce patch. This will go home with me and will be fed to the guinea pigs. I thought my allotment was looking quite good, but I wondered around the plots this evening and the plot in the far corner, the one that is probably the best in the class, well, it really puts me to shame and it shows exactly what I should be doing. Even though my plot is probably doing very well this year, when I look at some of the plots I see how it should be done.

Some of my tayberries are beginning to fruit!! The ones in the picture are looking quite red and the shape is forming quite well. I think there will be a good crop of tayberries this year even though I transplanted the tayberry plant at the beginning of this season. All in all I think it is doing quite well. I don’t have anything that isn’t looking good. All my jobs are lined up for tomorrow.

Finally. As I was leaving, I heard a little meow. Elvis had followed me into the garden shed. So, to finish off the short evening trip, the garden cat got fed! 😽

Amazing sky tonight!

The walled garden allotment is looking especially amazing tonight. As I walked into the front gate the sky was bright blue, all seemed quiet near the Abbey. The only activity seemed to be high above me — the swifts and swallows were darting about chasing their evening meals.

It was a grass cutting event tonight. That was the plan. The borders are looking ready to cut and the work I’ve done on then is beginning to pay off. I ran the lawnmower around in record time. Also I now have a strimmer with a battery, so I can cut in the edges really easily. I was done and had time to spare.

The potatoes were next.

The line I had covered up previously (earliest) have started to pop up. But the other two lines have only just begun to break the surface. So I covered them so I didn’t have to continually check their state.

A little bit of watering was next. Then it was time to go home. Just as I started to pack up, I looked up from my work and saw the sky. It was incredible colours tonight.

Another half board

Partly done another board on the edge of the plot again tonight. As you can see, the left half of the plot has boards asking the edge and trellis … and is filled with plants like beetroot. The centre is rhubarb and horseradish with the compost bin. The right is still not done.

But. I’m getting there slowly. Very slowly.

It’s taking time but it will be worth it.

Another border edge board

Probably it would have gone quicker if I had remembered my lump hammer and screws. But when I arrived at the plot with board, spirit level and drill, I figured that a twenty minute round trip back to the house was just a waste of time. So I used a brick for a hammer and borrowed screws from other boards

But it’s gone in okay. I can finish it off properly another time. At least I got one more board in the border!

The grass seed has started

On the edges of the border, where I used some grass seed to fill in the gaps — the grass has started to grow quite well. The turf I used from the garden has taken completely and this grass seed was used where I didn’t have enough.

Sometime soon I will make a start on the rest of the border. The second half of the plot. This is really the main task for this year … ensuring the borders are completely finished before I make the grass paths flatter.

Looking great! The best I ever remember

My neighbours are all working hard! Plots number 24 and 23 have been worked over. On the right of this picture you can see those plots are looking really clear. It’s incredible! The past few years I’ve been hemmed in on all but half of one side with weedy plots. But today, only the far side edge is still not done. The two main sides are being worked.

Somebody has taken on plot number 13A, the small square plot in the left of this photo. This has taken a lot of hard work! A significant effort to clear this plot was needed and they have done magnificently to get this far.

My plot is in the centre. The edges from this angle are looking nice and straight and neat. The plot areas are looking for for now. Maybe a little work this weekend would be needed to cut the grass and hoe the surface where the beetroot have been planted maybe.

The main job on my plot is out of sight in the distance in this photo. I will need to put the borders in on the far side and that is a significant job. Then I will need to remove and transplant the small rhubarb plant to the other plot. Plenty of jobs to do!

The sweetcorn have now gone in

Tonight’s job was to take the sweetcorn seedlings down to the allotment and dig them into the plot. I’ve now moved onto the next half of the plot because the first half is full. I cleared a space and arranged a grid of bamboo poles before planting the seedlings.

I had grown 36 sweetcorn seedlings and all but 4 of them had grown okay. My grid of 5×7 has three missing poles. And this has turned out better because it makes it easier to get to the centre sweetcorn. I have left a little path into the square.

This half of the plot doesn’t have a proper border yet. I have the wood planks and some stakes but I thought it was more important to bring the sweetcorn seedlings from home rather than finish the edges.

I have left enough room for the next job: the borders again.

Apart from digging in the sweetcorn, there was a lot of wildlife this evening. The garden cat came calling, wanting some food which I keep in the compost bin. Elvis was fed and went away happy. There were two robins dotting around and waiting for me to dig up some grubs. And finally the large male pheasant made an appearance and let out an almighty “squark!” noise, before strutting off to bother another plot holder.

It was a nice evening and I spent two hours at the allotment this evening.

Grass, gravel and planting area …

It’s taken a long time to get here, but the back yard is looking much better now the turf is down and the gravel border is finished down one side. I also added a small planting area for any climbing flowers or maybe some sunflowers … In the future …

The turf went down several weeks ago now and it’s looking really great. There are a few small areas down the sides that need some attention but on the whole it’s perfect.

The remainder of the top soil we used for the turfed area was used in the planting section, so nothing had gone to waste and it looks as though we planned the whole thing. And the border is looking great and will be even better once the plants have been potted up and dotted around the edges.

Our cat especially liked the grassed area. Lounging around in the sunny corner over the bank holiday weekend and leaving large sprawling cat sized dents in the grass.

There is still a lot to be done in the back. This is probably only half completed so far.

Scorchio! Easter weekend!!

What a weekend. The weather is absolutely incredible this weekend. Good Friday, Easter weekend, and bank holiday Monday! All perfect weather, complete sunshine! I feel guilty, because instead of spending time down the allotment, probably I will end up doing day trips to the beach with the family instead.

That’s not a bag thing. Spending time with the family at the beach. But I should spend time planting as well.

This morning I did manage to check the seedlings in the back garden. And water the new lawn to make sure the turf is taking properly. The seedlings are all doing really well. The sunflowers are really coming on and are mostly 5cm tall already. The lettuce which I am growing mainly for the guinea pigs is doing really really well, and needs to be transplanted into the next set of pots already! And the huge number of beetroot plants are ready to go to the allotment along with the French beans (I need to remember to bring the bamboo poles). In the boot of my car is also three sacks of potatoes, various varieties, also sprouting and ready to be planted.

So, I really should make some time and use of the weather to make certain I have planted all of my potatoes and seedlings in the first half of the plot before the weekend is out.

At least, I should make it down to ensure Elvis is ok and do some watering.

[Later this evening, extra edit]

So, I did make it down to the allotment just before the sunset this evening. The time is about a 7:45 pm, and I managed about 45 minutes. I fed Elvis, I did the borders, filled in the turf, watered some of the plants. Then it went dark.

The borders are looking a lot better now. I have nearly finished half of the plot. All that remains is to raise the path on one side of the plot so it becomes easier to mow. Then half off the plot will be finished.

Just before I left the moon rose above the horizon. It was low, and bright pink. As I walked out of the gardens past the main house and the skirting the horizon. According to the astronomical almanac, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about this evening’s moon listed. However it looks very impressive.

Rotavating the long plot

Tonight I spent one hour 40 minutes down at the allotment. The only job tonight has been to rotavate the long plot using a mechanical machine with two forks for wheels. This turns the soil and churns the ground. It is a monster machine, and the first time I have used it. Unfortunately it was a necessity because the long plot is just too much work for me.

Because the long plot has been under tarpaulin for nearly 2 years, and has been used for upturned turf which had been gradually cleared from my main plot, the soil is quite dark and weed free. It looks nice once it’s been churned.

I have used some of this soil to fill in the gaps down the side of my main plot. To fix the border. This uses up some of the turf that came from home to fill in the gaps between the boards.

It looks fairly neat now down the edges, although only time will tell if I have turfed those edges properly and the grass will take. I expect however, even if it doesn’t take properly, it will look okay in the end. The main job is really to flatten out the borders of the plot, so cutting the grass is not such a chore in future.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I fed Elvis as well.

The curious case of the temporary turf

Had some turf left over from finishing the lawn at home recently. It has been rolled up since Tuesday and I figured that if I didn’t transplant it to the allotment soon, it might die. Better to let it live instead of letting it rot at home.

I intend to use it around the borders on my plot. Pieces will come in useful to patch up the edges once I begin to make a start on the edges again.

I never thought I would be bringing grass into the allotment though!

Another beautiful evening

Beautiful blue sky, another warm and light evening. Spring is definitely here. This is a view of the main house as you would see just to the right of the path upon entering through the main gate. I pass this every time I walk into the ground on my way to the walled garden allotments.

There is nobody around again. The staff have left for the evening and I only expected to see a few allotment holders and the allotment cat, Elvis.

Spent some time trimming the borders. Sat with Elvis for a while. That’s all. Nice and easy.

Trellis for the Tayberry plant

At last! It has been several years in the process, but finally the teyberry plant has managed to be transported from the long plot where it was waiting … waiting that is, for a neat space on the main plot. The trellis is simple. There are three main stakes, and four crossbars making a simple frame. It’s capable of expansion both horizontally (to the left) and in-between the crossbars to make room for more tayberry streamers as they grow.

This was completed in just one hour in the morning during my day off work the other week — with plenty of help from my dad. It was a super sunny day and we had a little time before lunch to spend, fixing up some trellis before it was too late to transplant the taybury.

The plot (as you can see) to the right of mine is a bit of a mess still, but this is the landowner’s area that they just cleared the other week. Their borders are a bit wonky still, and it will make cutting the grass difficult down this edge now, but this side is on my list of things to sort out anyway …

Grass cutting with the pheasants

Tonight was a fantastic evening. The sun has been out all day, I had left work early and finished off the day at home so I was able to miss the rush hour and be ready to leave for the allotment at a sensible time. And there were helpers tonight!

When we arrived, with my Dad and the little one in tow (plus little scooter for scooting outside the main grounds), we immediately went to find Elvis and feed her a big sachet of cat food.

Elvis appeared and looked hungry as usual. I was a little worried we might find her trapped inside a klosh like we did the other day, but happily, she was ok this time.

While grandad and the little one sorted out the garden cat, and watched the two pheasants strutting around on one of the empty plots, I had enough time to quickly mow the edges of my allotment. Just one quick run around with the petrol mower! It only took 5 minutes and looked a lot better after the small effort.

Tomorrow, we will nip down again to install a small trellis and transplant the tayberry that has been hiding in my temporary (long) plot for two years. I have finally finished enough border in my main plot to be able to transplant it. This year I hope to get a truck full of tayberries out of this plant.

Plot 24 has been cleared … !!

Double exclamation points!! Then I noticed that the hedge running the length of plot 24 next to the main path through the Abbey Garden allotments had been removed. Or so I thought?!

But … No … according to another neighbour, the hedge was removed one or two years ago. I had not noticed because this plot was a mess and I couldn’t tell the difference. Only now, once it had been cleared had I noticed the hedge had gone.

So, I sent an email to the allotment association when I discovered that plot 24 had been cleaned for the first time in … at least … well, as far as I know … ever.

I wanted the allotment association to pass on my thanks to the plot owner for clearing this area.

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 were very few people around today, I was mostly kept entertained by 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.

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.

Putting down the second sheeting

Today is Sunday, the 9th of September, and I was at the allotment by 8:45 AM. Now 2 1/2 hours later, I have finished putting the second sheeting down and made a start on the other half of the allotment.

The second half of the allotment was only partly covered. Some weeds and potatoes had grown down at the far end of the plot. So it took some time to clear this area (marginally) before covering it with another 5 x 5 m sheet of weed suppressant material.

I will need to buy a new piece of weed suppressant material because one of the pieces was not suitable for the allotment. One sheet of weed suppressant material was waterproof and would not allow the soil to breathe. I expect this would kill the soil over time, so although I have placed that sheet down at the far end of the plot I will not keep it for more than a week (if I can help it).

Taking a picture of all four corners of the allotment, shows that two sides are nice and straight and clear and covered. Opposite side of the allotment is not quite so neat and although I have put down suppressant sheeting the edges nowhere near as clean underneath. This half of the plot will take a fair amount of time to get finished.

Half of the allotment boarder finished!

At last! I have just finished the border: around half of the allotment. Today is Monday 27th of August 2018, a bank holiday. This morning I spent four hours down at the allotment finishing off the last two boards to make half of the plot edge neat and tidy.

This has been quite a major undertaking. It has taken significantly longer than I first anticipated. I underestimated the effort needed to make straight edges and hammer in stakes for instance. I had also neglected the allotment edges and they had grown a large influx of grass which meant it had to be cleared before I could put any boards in.

But, it has been worth it and I will benefit in the long run because it will be easier to manage than higgledy-piggledy border edges that need attending every time I visit.

The next job will be to sort out the grassy parts around the border. They need to be made flatter and tight up against the boards. The path shown in the picture on the left hand side of the allotment needs raising to match the height of the boards. Muck shifting is my next big job.

Digging through the brick layer

Today’s trip to the allotment. It is Sunday 19th of August. I was up fairly early this morning, and after packing the car with the equipment needed to complete more of the border with wooden boards, I managed to get to the allotment by 9 AM.

I only took one piece of wood for the border. My intention was to extend the end of the allotment border to be exactly 5 m long and then take the replaced board and use it to start the third side.

As I hammered the stakes into the ground I suddenly realised that one side of the allotment was giving more resistance than the other sides. As I dug down it became obvious I’d hit an old path. All of the stakes were dented! The underground path ran in the same direction as the current allotment path but was about one and a half spades down. The top layer was a light slab and the underside was red brick. It ran the top length of my allotment plot and made hammering stakes impossible. I had to dig down individually for each stake in order to get any hold.

It was fairly tough going and for three stakes it took me an hour and a half to do.

The replaced piece of board, which was used for starting the third side of the allotment, was much easier and the stakes went in without any resistance. I finished clearing the grass and fitting that board in about 1 hour.

It looks as though the final two boards should be quite easy work and hopefully I will have finished half of the plot be next weekend. We will see.

Keeping on top of the weeds

Today is Saturday 11th August 2018. I managed to get to the allotment early this morning I was here by 7 AM. I have spent just two hours clearing off the top surface of weeds.

The top half of the plot looks really clean. Except for one side which needs straightening and the boards along the edge need sorting out. That will be my next job, and after that side is done properly I will have completed half of the allotment.

I plan to make it exactly 5 m across. The existing weed suppressant sheeting that is currently covering the far end of the plot will then be able to be moved up to the beginning of the plot — The side that I have nearly finished. Then with that part covered I will be able to make a start on the other half of the plot.

That is the plan.

I did manage to give away some potatoes. There were a few plants that I grew from spuds that made it from last year. Those potatoes went to a neighbour. I will harvest the reminder for next time I am at the allotment.

Hopefully Sunday will be clear tomorrow, although I have heard that the weather will turn this afternoon and then clear up on Monday. We will have to see.

Help doing the weeding

I had some help from my Dad to finish some weeding on the plot on Sunday morning. It was just a short trip of about one hour but it made all the difference.

The top end of the allotment plot is looking very clear now android because of the dry weather, the borders are still neat looking.

Only the left side of the plot looks untidy at the top end now. That will form the next part of the work. I intend to straighten that part to a width of 5m and cover it with weed suppressant tarpaulin while I make a start on the bottom half of the plot.

More border work

So it’s was another glorious day again today (Saturday). Scorching sunshine as you can see from the colour of the grass… and I was at the allotment by 9am ready to spend a few hours fixing up the borders. Hoping I would be finished before the sun got to hot.

I must have spent 4 hours putting in just two edge planks. A lot slower than I thought it would be. The soil was solid where the grass had grown over into the plot and I spent most of my time hitting it with the side of the spade to crack the grass layer so I could get my fork in.

But at the end.. it now looks a lot better than it did before and I can be sure it will remain looking something like this for many years to come now I have tamed the grassy edge.

There is still a little back filling to do and I would like make the grass border flatter and more even: to make cutting the grass a lot easier in future. Possibly that will wait until later in the year once I’ve finished the remainder of this edge.

It’s looking good however.

Possibly though, not as good as my sunburned neck.

Only time to mow the grass

Sunday, the 10th of June. And all I can say is I had a spare 10 minutes today in the evening to go to the allotment and try and mow the borders. However it is a terrible mess.

Yesterday was spent running errands I have been putting off the several months. And today I cooked Sunday lunch for the first time in as long as I can remember, and then I took the little one to the play area for the rest of the day.

Just before bathtime for the little one I found myself with half an hour. Quick trip to mow the borders because otherwise I wouldn’t have chance for the rest of the week. The edges that have been finished are ok. But the remainder of the borders are so overgrown I can’t tell where the allotment stops and the grass begins. This is the main duty of care for this year and I had better get on with it before it gets any worse.

Taking another look at the picture it does seem that I’ve not mowed the borders. But this is actually shot taken after I did the work.

Disaster.

Quick Sunday border cutting

Again, this weekend I have spent most of my time clearing the back garden at home neglecting the allotment. But, the borders at the allotment could not wait any longer and so the very last few hours of Sunday were spent with the lawnmower doing the edges of the path’s surrounding my plot.

Once that was finished — all that was needed was to break out the tarpaulin weed suppressant material and cover the far end of my plot. This is going to help the effort this year because it will keep the weeds down on one half of the allotment while I finish the borders at the other end. Then eventually I will switch over and do it in reverse: covering the opposite half where the borders are finished and concentrating on the half that is now uncovered.

Some old faces were around this evening, all enjoying the sunny day and their allotment plots. Some other people I saw last weekend and have gone on holiday — probably they are enjoying the weather next to the beach. Not a bad compromise.

The remainder of the borders will wait for a while. I need to stock up on more boards in the interim few weeks. Then I will hit it hard again for a weekend. That’s my to-do plan.

Continuing the borders

The border continues and tonight I have managed to complete three boards. There’s nothing else done this weekend. No weeding or 🌱🌱🌱planting. Just three boards.

Today is Sunday 13th May and I spent two hours at the allotment tonight just putting in a couple of boards along the edges of the borders. The edges look great so far,, but will take many more trips to finish the whole of the plot. I guess it will take all year. No rush.

Starting the border

It has just been the hottest early May bank holiday on record since 1978. It’s now after sunset on the Sunday night and I have just finished a small task. I’ve started the border at the allotment.

I did most of my digging at home in the back garden this weekend. Tidying up the ground near the bottom of the garden. Just some minor clearing of dirt and trips to the tip. But with this work I am neglecting the allotment.

At least I had organised the wood this weekend. Completed the preparation work by taking stakes down to the plot and buying the wood used for edging … and then finally at the last minute just before sunset, I visited the allotment to try out putting one edge board in.

Not totally successful, however several things to take away the next time I visit. Number one, sharpen the stakes a little bit more so they go in easier. Number two, shorten the stakes so I don’t have to bash them into the ground as far. Number three, lower the board so it is slightly below grass level. The stakes need to go below ground level and it’s obvious that hasn’t happened here but it was just a trial run.

The first try was fairly successful. I will know better next time.