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Today I decided to go and water my allotment. This reminded me that I haven't posted an update about it for months! Let me make it up to those of you who asked for these (especially @MarSou ) . It will be a few months worth bumper update. Here is the first article I wrote about my allotment.
I tried to be a smart ass and add all the pictures first, then write the article in between, but that backfired, as I don't seem to be add text in between the pictures. Anyone else experienced the same? Let me know in the comments if you found the way around it.
Anyway, so I deleted the pictures and starting yet again. Let me start with a picture of slow worm. We found a few of those as well as frogs underneath of plastic sheets.
Back in April or May we used the sheets we found on the plot to cover up the land, so the grass and weeds below would dry out, saving us some work.
First day of digging the allotment was at the beginning of June and was not as bad as we expected. Nunzia and I came prepared with tools, beers and snacks. We spend as much time digging, as chatting to other owners of allotments. We met many lovely people and got some useful tips too.
Plastic sheets did a great job! Grass underneath was dry and below it we found more fabric sheets, so with a help of fork and a neighbour, the first part of our land was ready uncovered in no time.
Then some more digging. I won't lie that this part was easy. I developed a few blisters after this session. Once we dug up a big square for future planting, we applied some bags of manure and mixed it with prepared soil. Then we put the plastic sheets back on top, so the weeds don’t sprout before we plant anything there.
After couple of weeks we came back with a few more bottles of beer and some plants to put into prepared soil. We uncovered only some part of the soil and left the remaining part under the sheets for now.
Next we planted the first veggies - tomatoes and broccoli. Sadly tomatoes were wiped out by tomato blight before even first flowers set in, so I removed them to avoid further infection. Broccoli was mainly eaten by slugs and snails. There are a few leafless stalks left and I’m unsure if anything will still grow out of them, but I left them be for now.
My closest neighbours - Vanessa and Barry found that they don't do too well with growing their food, but Vanessa loves flowers, so she planted many of them around their plot. This beautiful rose is one of them.
During the next visit we did some more digging. Soil under the plastic was nice and rich and worms had a feast with the manure we applied. We found many of them while digging.
We planted many round courgettes, a row of carrots and a few squash plants. These came as seeds all the way from Argentina, where Nunzia visited earlier this year. She grew the little plantlets at home and then we transplanted them into the ground.
After all work was done, we sat on the grass, drank our beers and talked till it was completely dark and our bums were wet from the dump grass.
A little while later the courgettes grew quite a bit, but I also had some weeding to do! Nunzia went away to Italy, so I had to motivate myself to come on my own.
As you can see above, tomatoes are no longer here and broccoli is barely visible through the weeds that already set in! At that time I was visiting my allotment every other day, as we had a short sunny spell and no rain, so I had to water the plants often. Last visit I spent removing all those tiny pesky weeds, but every gardener knows that weeding is an never ending job. When I arrived to my allotment today, this is what I saw!
Yes, those courgettes are looking lush, but what’s with the weeds? Seems like only yesterday I removed the lot and today I had to spend over an hour to remove most of them again. It's probably been good few weeks since my last visit to be honest.
More flowers from neighbouring plots. Aren’t these lovely? Maybe next season I will plant some flowers too. The help with attracting pollinators, as well as bring lots of colour in between rows of fruit and veg.
Finally I could see a few carrots and even broccoli gained some leaves again. Who knows - maybe there is still hope for it.
Once the work was done, my nails weren’t too happy looking, but there is something magical about working with soil. It just makes me happy. It also reminds me of what I wrote in this article - green thumb is a dirty thumb 😉
I took a longer path to walk back home and after a shower I felt so much better than before I went to allotment. I need to make sure to go there more often, because it’s as good for my soul as it is for my body and my plate!
Let me end this article with a few flowers I captured from neighbours plots. I love that many of them grow flowers as well as edibles.