Hard Work Catching Up on the Plot

Down to the plot on Saturday  for a few hours but the ground was really wet. I got the tomatoes in the small greenhouse into order, watered in the houses and went  down to the bottom of plot 5. The plan was to dig over the area where I had a compost pile to plant the runner and climbing beans.

Well it’s like a paddy field down there so digging over is clearly out. I dug a quick drainage trench to help things drain and within a minute that was full of water.

Tried hoeing off some of the weeds but it’s that soggy that I didn’t want to walk on the soil too much

Feeling a bit at a loss of what to do so back home.

Sunday was again dry so the plan was to dig over this last bed and rotovate the compost in if the ground had dried out enough. Now this is the patch where I grew brassicas, pretty badly, last year. It’s had less organic matter than any other part of the plot and it shows. The ground was pretty solid although you can still see a definate layer where I had added turkey litter.

It was also pretty wet although the trench from yesterday seems to have some effect. The problem with clay soils being  that when dry they are like concrete and well nigh impossible for mortal man to dig. At least 50+ mortal man. When wet they weigh a ton and this was wet.

After about 5 hours my back was beginning to play up. May have to see a physio that I’ve seen advertising who mentions sciatica as well as sport injuries. Could be a bit tricky. “What sport did your injury?” – “Sumo

I was ready to rotovate by about 8.30pm but it was a little late to start. In fairness to the people who live around the site, using machinery on a Sunday night is hardly on. Our friend in France said there is a law that you can not use machinery on a Sunday. Her neighbour likes to start mowing his lawn with a noisy old ride-on at 7am. I think she’s gone native as she did quite a bit of moaning about the English in the village. She didn’t quite say “They come over here, taking our jobs” but I was waiting for it.

Took a look at the brassicas. Most are doing well but I had a couple of Purple Graffiti cauliflowers that had been kept in pot too long and the leaves were showing the purple colour they take on when they are potash hungry. They’ve recovered but have now formed very small heads. It appears I have discovered the secret of mini-cauliflowers. Must try to kid everyone on they’re a speciality crop rather than a mistake.

Very patchy germination in the coldframe for the runner and climbing beans but they ones that  have sprouted are well overdue to plant out. I watered them with tomato feed to just try and keep them going a little longer. Goodness knows when I can get them out, it’s pouring with rain again as I write this on Monday morning.

I suppose I can only blame myself. After all, I’m digging over and this should have been done back in November. Only 7 months late. On the plus side, Larry actually complemented me on my Leeks in pots in the tent cloche and asked if he could have some. One thing doing right at least!


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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