A Productive Afternoon

Between a lunch of hot cross buns and a roast lamb dinner, we headed out to the allotment. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks and I’ve been very aware of how much progress others on site have been making on their plots. There are a ton of jobs that need doing on our plot but the biggest job was to make sure the soil was prepped and ready to go.

While my husband fed the chickens, I wandered around the plot, listing all the jobs that need to be done. As I was mentally working out our strategy for this afternoon, I heard a shout from my husband at the bottom of the plot. It turns out he had been in the New Coop, feeding Gertie and he had come up with a rather brilliant idea. Instead of holding her and using the small food bowl, he had put the food into a massive bowl and deposited Gertie into it. Surrounded by food, Gertie set to work, enthusiastically demolishing beakful after beakful of food. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe she is fed every day!

Leaving Gertie to stuff her face, we headed back to the plot and set to. My husband got busy weeding and hoeing the section with the Cox’s Orange Pippin tree while I began tackling the grass. There is one particular type of grass that seems to have taken root (pun intended!). It’s a spreading variety and is deceptively difficult to remove. If you pull at it, it snaps. Digging out the roots is difficult as they intertwine and wrap themselves around any other plant they can find. Today, I tried a different tack. Armed with a scraper, I hacked beneath the offending grass and was finally able to remove it whole as well as being able to remove lots of the wider root system. It was slow but it worked!

As my husband worked down the plot, I focused on removing grass. If I could get it gone now, it should make the rest of the growing season less of a battle. Or at least, that’s the theory! Between us, we managed to clear over half the plot. All that’s left is to do the sunburst beds and one of the bigger sections. But that’s for another day.

My husband headed back home to put on dinner, leaving me to make some progress on Geoff’s plot. He has kindly lent us his raised beds for the last couple of years and I always try to keep the paths clear and the weeds at bay as much as possible. It’s been a few weeks since I did any weeding and there was quite a bit to do. Armed with my trusty scraper, which I vowed will never leave my hand again, the paths were cleared of weeds. Even between the paving slabs! On a roll, I began to weed the beds . The strawberry bed had become overrun with grass so utilising my new favourite tool, I hacked away until it was all gone. Moving on, I cleared the next bed and started on the biggest bed. By now, my hands were sore and I was covered in dirt from head to toe.

Pleased with today’s progress, I headed home for Easter Sunday dinner of roast lamb with all the trimmings. The other jobs can be started tomorrow, including planting seeds in the greenhouse. Yes it’s late, we are always late. But it really does feel like the start of the season now!


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