Let’s be honest. The winter in the UK so far has been pretty awful. It seems like it has rained for twelve years solid and we feel like we will never see summer again. It’s been way too cold and wet to do anything at the plot and this has bugged me massively. I really don’t like leaving it too long between visits but I’ve really not wanted to go at all over the last few months.
But I got up there today! Hoorah!
I’ve been watching the weather forecast for the last few weeks just waiting for a day I can get up and get shit done. Today was the day! I have a list of a million things I need to get done at the allotment and today I checked a few of them off and it feels so good. There were a few fleeting moments of this morning that made me feel like spring is just around the corner and then this happened…
The mother of all hailstorms!
I was talking to a fellow plot holder when it started. He shouted “I’m not bloody digging in this!” and ran back to his car. I muttered under my breath “oh, for F**ks sake” and went and sulked in my polytunnel. I watched it hammer down for a few minutes and then the sun came back out. I was in the middle of planting up 40 odd strawberry runners when it started. When I started again the ground was covered by about an inch of hailstones. Great. My hands were freezing.
But, moaning aside, I managed to get them all in and got the bed mulched with woodchip too. I decided to make this a permanent strawberry bed so planted through weed control membrane and covered it with woodchip. That area of the plot has a serious problem with couch grass, so I used the no-dig method for the bed. In the autumn I covered it with a thick layer of cardboard, about 5 inches of manure and 2 inches of compost. It was also covered with black plastic. I really hope the membrane/woodchip combo can keep the grass controlled because it was a serious problem for me last year.
My other jobs for today were:
- I covered some of the grass around the bed with membrane and woodchip. The grass is a nuisance.
- I planted the poor apple tree that’s been sat in a pot for 6 months.
- Potted on some lupin seedlings that I had started off in the house.
- Cleared some of the junk out of the greenhouse
- Potted on the sweet peas into a bigger pot
I also just sat for a while and admired the weak sunshine and the flowers that have popped up about the place. My favourite anemones are flowering and the purple is so sumptuous, I soaked it all up. There is still so much to do but it felt so good to get back there.