Better Late Than Never

Yet again February and March have disappeared in a blur of work and holidays and somehow it’s April and I’ve not started growing anything! It doesn’t matter how many years I have the allotment, I always seem to end up planting late. I promised myself I would get things growing in February after last year’s rush to plant. Somehow, here we are again!

We picked up some bags of compost this morning and my husband lugged them down to the greenhouse. While he dashed off home, I got started on feeding the chickens. Flora and the gang were all keen to get tucked into their treats which gave me enough time to fill up their food bowl in peace. Flora in particular specialises in getting in the way, no matter what you are doing. She takes such a pride in it, it’s quite unbearable!

Over in the New Coop, I put Gertie into the food bowl and placed her up on the perch. This has two great benefits: 1) Gertie eats because the other girls can’t get at her and 2) I don’t have to hold the food bowl for half an hour while she eats. The only down side is that Gertie can scratch properly, sending food all over me! Connie, of course, is there to hoover up any of the dropped food. When there isn’t any, she tends to attack my shoes or trousers – she isn’t fussy about which!

As I walked back towards the plot, I spotted movement ahead of me. There are so many birds nesting on site at the moment, I initially thought it was one. But closer inspection revealed a large tabby cat stalking slowly up the path. Bending down and putting my hand out, I wondered whether it would come and say hello. Much to my surprise it did! A couple of scratches of the head and he was off again. I wondered what Bertie would think of having another cat prowling on his favourite part of the site. Would he shrug? Would he chase this interloper away? In any case, the tabby took himself off down the plot and disappeared off towards Geoff’s plot without a second glance.

Back over in the greenhouse, I dug up the seed trays and laid them out on the potting bench. Turning around, I looked for the seeds. Nothing. Maybe I had left them in the shed? Not there either. Where on earth were they? Rolling my eyes at myself, I headed home. I’d left them by the front door! Thankfully, it meant I could also pick up the corn box for the Topknot Gang at the same time so I guess the trip wasn’t a waste of time.

Now armed with the seeds, I planted and planted until all the trays bar one were filled with soil and seeds. Ideally, I need another few trays to get the tomatoes and salady plants up and going. But that was a job for another day. A quick water and I began to head for home.

It was as I was closing the gate, I realised I had forgotten the blasted corn box. The Topknot Gang had been abundantly clear about how they felt at the lack of corn treats over the past 24 hours and I didn’t want to have to face them to explain why they wouldn’t be having treats for a second day in a row! Muttering to myself about needing to use my brain more, I grabbed the offending box, tucked it under my arm and headed home.

This time I actually made it and I was greeted first suspiciously, then enthusiastically by the Topknot Gang. It really goes to show that with a little of the right food, you can become anyone’s favourite person …

With house renovations starting this week, my main job is to remember to water the seed trays and, in the event I have a spare moment, put in the potatoes!


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