Day 1 at the allotment

After a few short visits to the allotment to check the key worked, measure the plot and have a feeble attempt at cutting some of the grass last Saturday was pencilled in as the first day of real action. The plan was to clear some of the plot and get some plants in. As the allotment is close to home we decided to walk over there, armed with trugs of plants, all the tools we thought we'd need, some water and some much needed sun cream.

Although we might have looked like the local loons as we walked up the road in our wellies and shorts, I'd prefer to think we were looking more Tom and Barbara from The Good Life.

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 THE FIRST BATCH OF PLANTS TO TRANSPORT

THE FIRST BATCH OF PLANTS TO TRANSPORT

This was the section we planned to tackle. The previous owners (we presume) had already covered it in black plastic  so we were keen to see what was underneath. As it turned out there was a lot of dry grass, some bindweed and some other random plants that we removed relatively easily. But it was hard going.

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We found some old carpet and lino too and now need to find a way to dispose of this. We made good progress and MOH was clearly relishing his new promotion to Head of Digging and Chief Weeder. Our problem quickly became where to put everything we'd pulled up as both compost bins were already full - I'm not sure we have the answer to this right now, but we're working on it.

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One of the compost bins looked more mature than the other, but that's the one the foxes had taken a shine to. Unsure if they were still in residence we took precautions...

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Thankfully though we didn't see any foxes, there could have been some scurrying at which point we stopped digging and decided to go and do something else instead, over on the other side of the plot just to be safe! 

We were regularly visited by bees - well this unknown plant was anyway, and I saw a toad hop out of the raspberry canes too. I'm hoping we won't have to share any fruit with him...

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Oh yes, and we have a bench...

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Yes I don't think it's long for this world either. 

After lunch in an attempt to hurry me along MOH suggested I lay out the plants; well actually he wanted to know how much more digging was needed but it helped to see how much we'd done. There was quite a difference in levels from the back to the front of the plot, so those bricks were put in place to help keep the water on the higher level. It's a temporary solution which I hope works.

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By now planting was underway and I've just realised the majority of the plants have been donated. Tomatoes from my dad and from my FIL, a pumpkin from my aunt and uncle, sweet peas from dad (well the seeds anyway) along with some runner bean and broad bean seeds from him too. Some angel wings schizanthus seeds from the seed swap - they all grew - I've planted six pots at home in the garden, and another six pots here in the allotment. Then there was some dill from my greenhouse sowing and some lavender cuttings which survived the winter.

With those planted and watered we laid down some plastic sheeting on the section we plan to tackle next. Hopefully it will at least stop the grass growing and make it (slightly) easier to clear. I've plans for some brassicas here and hopefully my climbing and borlotti beans will also germinate and be ready to move in at some point soon. And I've got a small farm of tomato plants that'll be looking for a new home...

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Before heading home for a long soak in the bath with a G&T in my hand we noticed some of the strawberries were ripe - so we left our first big allotment day with a handful of produce too. How fab is that? 

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