Early February - Blustery & Grey

Early February - Blustery & Grey
Newly dug over square beds 07/02/11

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

It will all bee alright in the end

The absence of any allotment blog updates reflects the inactivity on the allotment – our June ‘jumbo month of planting’ was disrupted by two weeks of family holiday and then two weeks where I was good for nothing. What I thought was a recurring chest infection & asthma has been diagnosed as a hyper-sensitive allergic reaction to a fungus called Aspergillus… a fungus that is commonly found in soil, compost heaps and on rotting vegetation! During a two week period - when I thought I might expire – I had to rest up and recuperate and therefore weeding and sowing at the plot was out of the question. As a result of the sabbatical the plot was so overrun with weeds that my dad helpfully suggested that I give it up and we entered July well behind on our planting and sowing schedules.
The good news though is that I’m much improved health-wise and the surge of energy that oral steroids can provide a man have allowed me and my little band of allotmenteers swoop down upon the plot with gusto. Just cutting the grass and ripping up the weeds immediately made it look like a proper and respectable plot again. The gaps given up by the weeding then gobbled up the trays of unplanted leeks, purple sprouting, parsley, chives, sweetcorn, courgettes and squashes. Only the tray of rocket plants didn’t make it – the monkeys bolting a couple of days before our mass planting visit.
On top of the plant plugs we’ve managed to sow a host of last minute crops: carrots, a few peas for the kids, golden and bolthardy beetroots, fennel, little gem lettuces, spring onions, runner and bolotti beans, kohl rabi and turnips. Some further sowings of chard and bits & bobs is on the cards for this weekend.
Add all this to the bonus row of parsnips that successfully germinated at the second attempt, a full row of decent carrots, a mass of flatleaf giant Italian parsley, two rows of peas and sugarsnaps, a half sack of brilliant new potatoes, a bumper crop of garlic and 200+ white onions awaiting harvest, things aren’t half as bad as I thought when laying on my near-death bed!
The brilliant orange blooms of the marigolds, the sweetpeas and a surprise last hurrah of alliums have added some spectacular colour to the plot and cheered up not just me but the bees too.
There’s no way I’m giving the plot up dad!

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