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A Perfect Day

Saturday was well nigh perfect. The sun shone and the sky was an electric blue with wispy white clouds. It was warm enough to be comfortable but not too hot to work in. Just a shame that it didn’t last longer, the nights are drawing in quickly now.

Comfrey

My comfrey patch is establishing well, most of the plants are a fair size and flowering. They were swarming with bees, which is a good thing. With all this talk of the lack of bees and the grim prospects for pollination of food crops, seeing lots of bees has to be a good thing.

My neighbour gave me half a comfrey plant root earlier in the year which I split and potted up. Most came up fairly quickly and were planted but some really took there time. In fact I’d given up on them but hadn’t got around to emptying the pots when all of a sudden they burst into life.

So, the comfrey patch is getting extended, I really can’t waste the surprise extra plants. It’s simple enough, I start by mowing the grass as low as I dare. Have to watch out for stones hitting the blade on the lower settings. Then kill off the turf with a spray of glyphosate.

Once the turf has died off, run over with the rotovator incorporating any available compost or manure at the same time and then plant up. To help the comfrey establish, I give it a feed of growmore and nitro-chalk. Once established the comfrey’s deep roots should be pulling nutrients out and not need much input.

Clearing Raised Beds

The raised beds are cleared now, except for the runner beans which are still producing albeit slowly and half a bed of Sarpo maincrop potatoes that have withstood the blight.

In the Greenhouse

The greenhouse is still producing well, tomatoes and peppers galore. I’m not sure which is better; strong cheddar and Ailsa Craig tomatoes or strong cheddar and sweet Sungold tomatoes.

We’ve a lot of tiny chilli peppers that Val’s planning on storing in oil and some slightly larger ones that she’ll dry. They’re hot but not ludicrously so. I really don’t see the point in growing the hottest pepper in the world where a spec requires a pint of milk standing by.

The big job was mowing overgrown grass. Mowing wet grass is a nightmare, clogging up the mower ever couple of yards. I’ve developed a technique though. First run over the grass with the mower held at an angle, effectively cutting the top off and then run the other way slightly lower. Still a bit of a game.

All too soon the sun was sinking down into the western sea and the temperature was plummeting as well. Settled down on the bench with a hot cuppa and watched it vanish, lighting the clouds in more shades of red than you’d think possible. Days like this are vintage.

Back indoors and Val prepped the runner beans whilst I blanched them for the freezer. It’s not been the best of growing years but at least we’ve some success and, so far at least, 2012 hasn’t proven to be the end of the world.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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