I should warn you, this is another of those not very pretty posts, but it is part of our journey to tame our allotment and as I'm not about just sharing the pretty stuff, here it is, warts and all. In my defence, it was a long winter wasn't it and most of that long winter I hibernated.
It seems though it was a good winter for grass, as the beds we've previously tamed and used to grow plentiful crops had reverted to grass. Luckily though they were relatively easy to weed, although the bed that's had potatoes in was the easiest. I must get more potatoes!
Even the compost bins have grown grass this year, which isn't so good, but on the plus side if the grass and weeds can grow, so can my veg.
Our Stihl trimmer has come into its own, it's light to carry over to the allotment (there's no way I'm leaving that there), is easy to use and has good battery life. But the real reason I know it's good is because it's got the seal of approval from MOH, not only does he use it over our older one, but the older one has been given away.
And if he wants to use it, then I'm not going to stop him - seems the right approach don't you think?
We'd gone armed with a tarpaulin too, and once the potato bed was weeded, it was quickly covered and pinned down so that we can delay the weeds return. This year, I have to plant something else in this bed and the beans in the greenhouse are currently vying to be planted out this weekend.
It wasn't all bad though, as we weeded the potato bed above we discovered a further two brown bags of potatoes so that was an added bonus, and they've been very tasty too - small, but tasty. The artichoke under the crab apple tree is growing as well as ever, in fact I think it's doing better than normal, maybe there'll be some decent sized artichokes on it this year.
We've tackled the trial raised bed too, which had also sprouted grass, again it was easy to make quick progress. We realised though that we'd made a rookie error by not putting cardboard under the new soil to act as a barrier, so that's probably something we'll rectify this year.
We pulled about a kilo of rhubarb stems, and the good news is there's still plenty left and more to come. I think that's kind of crumble-tastic news, and it's the time of year where I tend to keep a tub of crumble in the fridge so I can make a pudding without too much fuss.
Our strawberry plants are also looking promising. I've read somewhere that it's supposed to be a good year for strawberries, I hope that's right, and I hope my strawberry plants are also in the know. I've more from the garden to move over to the plot, so I should be able to edge the path that leads onto the plot.
As we were weeding we came up with a master plan to avoid this scenario next year, and that's when we 'close down' the allotment next autumn to make good use of those tarpaulins over the winter. It sounds a cunning plan doesn't it, let's just hope I remember it in time.
Our storage bench was a casualty of winter too, it's collapsed. We've had a couple of attempts to piece it back together, but it's way past that and this weekend a new smart wooden small shed is arriving and I'm hoping will be easy to assemble so our plot looks slightly less ramshackle, and we might even get some veg in it soon too.
Wish me luck!