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A Quick Trip to the Plot

Having got Val squared away with a cup of tea, she’s still got her leg in plaster, I took advantage of the sunshine today to get down to the plot. We’re hoping she’ll be unplastered on Thursday and things will start getting back to normal, or chaos as we call it.

I noticed the council have been dumping leaves and compost on the site when I arrived. Just hoping there will be some left by the time I can get some serious time down there to grab some for my plots.

After the wind on Saturday I wanted to check everything was still there on the plot so I was a little nervous as I walked over to the greenhouses but they were fine. No panes even loose as far as I can tell. The empty ‘Dalek’ compost bin had blown onto the path but otherwise everything was in remarkably good shape.

One thing though, the weeds are doing really well. Plot 5 is looking a bit like a jungle but I’m sure I can get that sorted easily enough. It’s just a matter of getting down there and doing it.

Plot 29 isn’t in too bad a shape but the weeds are trying to pop back on there. Still, they’ll turn in when I dig it over. If Val’s plaster doesn’t come off though, then we might both go slightly mad!

The little gem lettuce in the small greenhouse are all well bolted, which is annoying. Only myself to blame, but I’ve never claimed to be perfect. Still nothing’s a total waste on an allotment. The worst case is things go onto the compost heap if they don’t end up in a chicken.

My daughter visited the other week and our split tomatoes that had a little mould starting went down well with the ducks. It’s funny how poultry seem to love tomatoes but they do.

We’ve still got a few, well very few, tomatoes in the main greenhouse and I’m just leaving them to ripen on until we’ve used up the ones at home. The green will ripen up with the aid of a ripe banana when we want anyway.

The way that works is the banana releases minute amounts of ethylene gas and this prompts the fruit to ripen. Apparently ethylene is responsible for fast deterioration of vegetables stored in the fridge and you can get a device called the EGG Gas Guardian that absorbs it so prolonging their life. Sounds like one of those ideas that you wonder why nobody thought of it years ago.

Had a quick chat with Jim on the site, he’s preparing his runner bean trench. Got to admit to being somewhat green with envy – his plot is looking so smart and he’s well up to date with things.

Bit of tidying up and then harvested a few leeks to go into a dried pea soup. In a way I’m quite enjoying keeping up the culinary skills whilst Val’s on the bench but probably not as much as Val is looking forward to her cooking again!

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
10 comments on “A Quick Trip to the Plot
  1. Virginia Thomas says:

    What happen to Val that her leg is in plaster? Hope she getting better soon, make sure after the plaster taken off, follow through the physiotherapy advise to rebuild the muscle function. I’d got myself run into a glass door injured my knees, the pain and the recover saga is indescribable experience. After consulted my GP got myself to have Physiotherapy service and follow those look simple exercises that got myself capable dig and fork at my allotment. Val wish you all the best and get better soon, back in action to get us some good yummy food recipes…

  2. John says:

    We’re off to the fracture clinic later today to see if it has healed enough to take the plaster off. Hope so!

  3. keith smith says:

    Interested in your comment “turning in” for weeds – I have almost cleared my plot ready for the winter (except for a few enormous swedes which I believe are ok left in the ground) but new weed shoots are still emerging – is it ok just to dig or rotivate these in? I thought this would merely replant them? You can tell I am a relatively new boy on the gardening front (3 serious years under my belt only!)

    My soil is now developing well and I have just emptied one of my compost componds and distributed on the plot – I normally now would not bother with new planting seeding etc until Feb / March – could you suggest anything I could start now?

  4. Paul Henderson says:

    Well went down my plot yesterday to check it out i was amazed that the fruit trees are budding again and i still have carnations flowering this weather is really changing, my cabbages and caulies and leeks are doing fine i have them undercover but still some slug damage to the leaves, going down to day the suns out should be nice, does anybody now how to take cuttings of grape vines as i have some good growth wich i think i could use look forward to hear from anybody who has some info happy gardening

  5. Peter Cox says:

    Read yr article on Aminopyralid (written August 08) earlier this year when I was hit by the problem. Having removed as much manure as I could by hand (round potatoes mainly) and rotovated soil several times, I am now getting test pots of broad beans looking OK. Big question I have – what is likely toxicity of crops grown in this soil even if crop looks OK and is producing? I recall reading that a toxin of 1 part in a trillion can affect a foetus in the womb and all residues mentioned on the Dow website are at levels substantially higher than this (although they say they are non-toxic). Who can I believe? Any comment would be useful.

  6. John says:

    Officially crops grown in the contaminated soil are safe. Ask again in 30 years for the definitive answer.

  7. Peter Cox says:

    Thanks, John – I shan’t be around then but fear for my grandchildren! I have a distrust of ‘official’ advisory boards that appear to be beholden to the agro chemical lobby. I just believe that we are what we eat and you cannot be too careful!

  8. John says:

    The really scary thing with chemical residues is the cocktail effect. Chemical A may be safe and chemical B may be safe, but A+B (or A+B+C+D) have effects like causing cancer.

    With hundreds of chemicals you can see it is impossible to check all of these I think the maths is N raised to factorial N where the number of chemicals = N but advanced maths was never my strong point.

    That’s before we get onto hormones and growth promoters in meat. On the other hand, I suppose there’s a chance of beneficial effects. And pigs might fly.

  9. Peter Cox says:

    You are spot on – we can only try our hardest and our own back garden has to be a safer environment than anything outside because we (should) have better control over what goes on.

  10. keith smith says:

    Rotivated my veg plots at the weekend – all home produced compost now well into the soil. My Mantis rotivator which I have had for two years now is superb – fine tilth produced to 18″/24″ deep over the whole of my plot in less than 2 hours.

    Can anyone suggest something to put in now?

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