m starting to think Summer is going to pass us by in a blink of an eye… it’s already very nearly June and we’ve just finished selling at our 5th garden show this year (3rd in a row!) and we are a little knackered to say the least. On the way to Kent I spotted loads of elderflower growing alongside the road and I felt sad because I just don’t have any time to go and pick any… The allotment is also getting neglected and all my big plans for this year are going out the window, right now I’m taking any chance I can to get up there to complete a few little jobs whilst I can, even if that means waking up at 6am to do them!
That’s just what I did in our 3 day break last week (when I say break I just mean a break between shows and not a holiday break, it involved lot’s of cleaning, polishing and hunting down vintage stock!) I woke extra early one morning and headed down the allotment in the morning heat, the plot needed a good watering before we left for Kent and I had a few little jobs to do too. First on the list was a good soaking before it got too hot, young seedlings and plants can burn if you water them during the hottest part of the day and the water will also evaporate quicker too so I find it easier and better to water early in the morning or late in the evening.
Next on the list was to earth up the potatoes, something that has needed to be done for a while now. This meant that I got to use one of my favourite tools (which just so happens to be my Dads…) and that is the Chillington hoe. This particular hoe is called a ridging hoe and it is perfect for earthing up potatoes with. It makes light work of the job and covers the plants a treat, in fact I should probably get my own one…
Another job involved lifting my tulip bulbs from the trough. I’ve recently realised that some of them aren’t perennial and they haven’t bloomed for the past 2 years whereas some varieties have flowered beautifully every single year. I decided to lift all the bulbs up from the soil, making sure to refer to my notes about which ones are perennial so I could put them to one side and replant them later this year. I saved my favourite ‘Black Hero’ as well as the Spring Green’ variety as I know for sure that these come up every year. I’ll be purchasing some more bulbs later this year to add back into the trough though, I can’t go without them after all! I then planted a butternut squash which I found at a garden centre into the trough so that it can grow and take up the entire planter. I do this every year with good intentions but again I always tend to neglect in my watering duties. This year I have my Mum on my side and she’s very kindly agreed to water my allotment when we’re busy selling at shows. When, and if I can find a gherkin plant for sale somewhere then I’ll plant that at the other end of the trough so it can grow up a trellis, my seeds failed to germinate and I can’t find a plant anywhere!
Last but not least I picked all the tiny little apples from my ‘James Grieve’ apple tree and felt a pang of guilt every time I pulled a little baby from the branch! I hate doing this job but alas my apple tree is only two years old and right now all the growing needs to go into the tree and the roots not the apples. Maybe next year I’ll be able to leave a couple of apples to ripen…
To make up for murdering all those little apples I decided to harvest a few more radishes from my second sowing row. This variety is a beautiful purple colour called ‘Amethyst’ and I picked a few to have for lunch, the slugs have managed to much some of them which I’m not happy about, but I guess the poor frogs can’t jump up that high to protect the radish tank!
I was only up the allotment for 2 hours that morning but it did wonders for my soul as well as the plot. It just goes to show that if you focus on a few small jobs rather than a whole list of them then you can get a lot done in a short period of time and in the end you can feel good about yourself. Sometimes I fell over whelmed with all the jobs but it’s morning like this that leave me feeling grateful and happy to be alive.