This winter has been a wash out allotment-wise. We last went to our plot in late October, and since then have been feeling guilty about our lack of commitment. So it was with trepidation that we visited yesterday. But, low and behold, it’s actually looking in ok shape. And it was the best feeling to be outside in the winter sun doing some hard work.
We got quite a lot done. First off we dusted down the wheelbarrow and cleared our polytunnel spot. Our committee raised funds for a shared polytunnel that all plot-holders can apply to have a meter-long stretch of bench in. We’ve had a spot for 2 years, but this year we are giving it up so that we can focus our energies on sorting the infrastructure on our plot.
Much as it can be a godsend to start off seedlings under cover early, it’s also very labour intensive. It’s not unusual for me to go to the plot for a few hours and find myself watering, potting on, re-arranging etc. the whole time. Meanwhile the paths are still unruly, and the pond and the back of the plot are in desperate need of attention. Also, we realised last season that our soil needs some serious TLC, so this season we will be growing limited crops so that we can focus on soil fertility. Luckily for us though, when we mentioned our plan to fellow allotmenter Amy, she offered to grow all of our seedlings for us, rather than us buying plug plants, which was our original plan. I’m thinking that we’ll have to do some major swaps with her later in the year! It’s so very kind.
Secondly, Mr. J did the heavy work of collecting wood-chips barrowload by barrowload to cover some of our paths. It was very satisfying to see 2 newly neat paths. As a bit of a perfectionist it pains me that our plot can sometimes look very scruffy, so sorting out the paths will be a huge weight off my mid. The plan with the remaining paths is to lay down layers of damp newspaper to suppress weed growth and to cover them with thick wood-chip. I’ll let you know if it works out well.
Third, I pruned all of our soft fruit bushes, in readiness for bumper summer crops (hopefully). It was exciting to see the rhubarb already starting to push through, and to know that Spring will be here soon. All in all it was a great first visit of the year to the plot.