On Sunday morning I headed down to the allotment for a few hours of hard graft, I decided to leave the video camera at home and told myself to limit the amount of photographs taken so that I could really get some proper work done. There were lot’s of jobs to be ticked off my list and I was determined to get as much done as possible in the limited amount of time I had up the allotment that day!
First on the list was to get pruning, it was of my most important jobs to do and one that should have been done a while back now… The Autumn fruiting raspberries had already been pruned a month or so ago which just left the gooseberries and the black currant bushes in the fruit cage. All these had a nice trim as well as the grapevine, rose bushes and the perennial flowers dotted around the allotment.
The allotment has been so daunting to me these past few months, what with the list of jobs piling up and that mountain of rubbish just keeps getting bigger too… So I thought it was best to start small, just to get my gardening motivation back again. Seeing as the wildlife patch is the smallest area I decided to focus on that, removing the old sunflower stalks, digging the border over and removing the weeds. This all made room for the perennial flowers which I wanted to move from the flower patch to make room for the annuals. I planted my Anemone and Cirsium Rivulare Atropurpureum around the pond and mulched them with well rotted manure as well as the roses and the grapevine. I also moved my little bug hotel cage over to this area too, it needs filling with bits and pieces but I hope it’s going to provide a home for lots of bugs and insects this year.
After I had tackled the wildlife patch I set my sights on the vegetable beds which were in desperate need of attention. Right now I’m forgetting about the pile of rubbish on the old brassica bed, it will be tackled over the next few weeks but for now I wanted to get the other two beds ready and sorted. Of course this had to start with a rather painful job of removing the swiss chard and leeks… Ok so the Autumn planted leeks were a bit of a failure but I was sad to be pulling up healthy swiss chard plants, they’ve served me well over Autumn and Winter but it was time for them to make way for more homegrown goodness this coming year. Before heading back home I quickly dug over the bed and whilst I was there I made the bed a little longer too, over the years the pathway has grown wider and it was about time I put it back into shape!
Next on the list is to dig manure into that middle bed and then move the rest of the manure over to the bin, which of course needs to be made yet. The flower patch border needs digging over, the fruit cage also needs weeding and tidying as well as a door made. The allotment care area needs a general tidy, the rhubarb bed needs digging and planting up with new crowns, the shed needs the guttering attached, grass seed needs to be sown and an archway needs to be erected by the entrance. The main gate got blown down during a storm so it needs fixing and quite a few of the fence posts need replacing due to rotting. Plus that huge pile of rubbish needs taking to the tip… but like I said, if I focus on doing little but often I’ll get there in the end.
The sun just so happened to be shining all day and at one point it was even warm enough to take my coat and cardigan off! The crocuses I planted out back in November are providing the allotment with that much needed burst of colour as well as the promise of Spring. As I sat inside my shed looking out at the plot during one of the many tea breaks, I couldn’t help but smile. Only a few jobs had been ticked off the list but to me they were huge, it meant the allotment was slowly but surely getting ready for the growing year and my motivation was back!
I left that day with muddy knees, dirt smeared on my face and under my nails, scratches on my hands and bruises from the rose thorns… but my heart was happy and I was counting down the days until I was back on my little slice of land.