Rhubarb giveaway at the lockdown allotment

Sunday, the 28th of March 2021. The time is now 1645 in the afternoon and I’ve been at the allotment since around about 2 pm.

Today’s job was supposed to be to plant the carrots! The ones I bought yesterday and this morning from the garden centre. However I forgot to put holes in the big tubs, and so I decided that I would just bring the carrots back home and plant them next weekend.

Rhubarb giveaway

Next weekend is Easter bank holiday, so there are two days plus the weekend. Let’s hope the weather holds!

Today I planted nothing apart from some daffodils. But I did a lot of work clearing up the portion of land that was the builders yard. That is now gone and the stones and gravel that I filtered out of the soil over the past year and a half have now been used to make small area for storing things. This area is just about 1m wide and not very big, but it is enough to keep things out of the way.

I put some black sheeting down on the soil, and then edged the part of the land with some of the larger stones. Then I dropped in all the gravel that I had filtered out into bags which had been sitting around on my plot waiting to get used or taken away. I decided not to take it away to the tip, since they were my stones from my plot.

So the majority of the time today was spent with me making a small patio area! Not something I expected today, but another job ticked off my list successfully!

The tub like plan for the carrots, something to do next weekend

Today was the day I also gave away my rhubarb which I had been trying to kill for the past two years, without success. So I gave it away to some of the new plot holders who had come in today to tend to the new areas.

So! All in all, today was a good day. Things have been tidied up, rhubarb is being given away, tubs have been made ready for next weekend, planting will begin just in time for the Easter bank holiday!

Last on the list before I leave the allotments is to pick up some of the plastic sheeting that has been dumped in the recycle area. The recycle area doesn’t look very neat, so I thought I would take some with me.

Sticking in the spuds

It’s Saturday, the 27th of March 2021, and I’m putting in the first batch of today. I’ve added a line of second-earlies (Charlotte potatoes) and two lines of Désirée potatoes.

As one person put it, let’s just chuck something in the ground and see what happens! And that pretty much sums up what I’m going to do. Although I will be putting them in neat little lines, equally spaced. Then at least I’ll be able to keep track when I dig them up.

Four lines of potatoes

Apart from that, and a little bit of blood fish and bone, I’ve just popped them in under the surface and apart from covering up the Désirée type a little, that’s where they will stay until I dig them up (some time after they flowered).

Next weekend is the bank holiday Easter weekend, bank holiday Friday off work (possibly) and bank holiday Monday making a very long weekend. Preparation is underway and I can see quite a few people down at the allotments now that I have not seen since last year.

Most of the plots are getting on with it quite quickly and some of them are looking excellent already. A couple haven’t started yet, but there is still time because we’ve got a long weekend coming and nowhere to go because of lockdown! I expect to see them then!

In other news, we now have a recycling point near the entrance. Containers have been set up for things that need to go to the tip, or should go to the recycling. The plastic container that I brought back to the allotment after emptying it and recycling parts at home is in that section. It’s a really good idea because we have a problem with glass and plastics. They need to be removed from the site efficiently, and this new recycling area will do the trick perfectly!

A 5:30 am start at lockdown allotments

I was awake early so I decided instead of lying in bed waiting for the rain to arrive, I would make an effort and get out of bed, get dressed drive down to the plot and do some digging before everybody is awake.

More soil manoeuvres

The weather last night must’ve been slightly drizzly because the ground was wet as I walked out of the house. The allotment was soaked through, but the digging was okay. I cleared some more weeds away from the far end of the long plot and then started to dig the patch of land ready to transport the soil back to my main plot.

I spent about an hour filling up wheelbarrows and transporting them onto a tarpaulin which I had spread out at the end of my plot. As I was filling up the wheelbarrow I was pulling out weeds and rocks, but I intend to filter this soil before I incorporated into my main allotment. That will be a job once the long plot against the wall has been handed back, and the reason I am transporting this on to blue tarpaulin instead of just dumping it at the far end of my plot.

That’s the plan anyway. Clear the long plot take my soil back, transport it onto the blue tarpaulin, then filter it by hand to get rid of all the main weeds and rocks. There seems to be a larger amount of glass and plastic on this long plot, probably because of the old compost heap that was used as a dumping ground for years. The soil all needs filtering.

The time is 7 o’clock in the morning now, I’ve cleared up, covered up and gone back to the car. The drizzle has started to return and there seems to be very little point getting stuck in the mud… this clearance will take a while longer to complete.

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.

What’s in the organic compost heap today? (nothing good)

Today is Saturday 14th March 3020. I got to the allotment shortly after dawn: 6:42 am to 9:38 am I spent at the plot this morning. The birds were singing in the trees, the garden cat was pottering about, I was the only person there 😊

It had been raining through the night, so the ground was quite soggy. But I am here totally to do the last of the compost heap work, not to work over the ground. So it doesn’t matter.

After last weeks effort, I expected most of the organic compost heap to be going onto my main plot. But unfortunately this was not the case — just like last week I started to dig into the compost heap only to find it was actually full of rubbish.

So I spent my time sifting out all of the garbage, cataloguing it into piles of weeds and rubbish and then bagging it up ready to go to the council tip when it opened at 10 am this morning. Out of one hole in the ground and into the next.

The reminder of the soil from the compost heap remained where it started, on the long plot by the wall.

Things on the organic compost list today include:

– Plastic bags, and more plastic bags
– Melted plastic bottles
– Crisp packets
– Brylcreem bottle
– Three large bones
– Plastic netting
– Nylon string
– Broken wineglass
– Plastic cups
– Burnt plastic gloves
– Ceramics
– Polystyrene seed trays
– Concrete
– Unknown plastic dispenser tube
– Plastic plant pots