21 April 2014

Back on track

Artichoke plants

The last couple of weeks have included digging, weeding, pruning, sowing, planting, raking, strimming and building support structures to name a few activities taken on at the allotment.
To be honest, it has been quite a challenging spring at the allotment so far. Due to the weather everything is late, but also due to life's pressures, we've struggled to find the time to go to the allotment and when we have, it, of course, has been raining. When you dig mysteriously hard ground in an icy cold rain you do wonder whose idea was it to have an allotment. 
Strawberry plants

Onions 'Stuttgarter'
Having an allotment is meant to be a relaxing a hobby for us, not something to stress about. Our approach has always been keeping the plot low maintenance and growing easy(ish) crops to ensure the time we can spend there meets the needs of the allotment. Therefore, we took a step back, looked at the process as a whole and went and got a rotavator. What a difference it has made!
While some may say it's cheating, it is not that much easier than digging (my arms have never ached this much) but it certainly makes things quicker and that suits us! The only question that remains is why did we not get one earlier? The longer days have meant being able to sow seeds after work and couple of days of sunshine at the weekend really boosted our morale. But nothing is quite as exciting as when things start to grow. I had a similar 'brick wall' experience as with the artichokes, but with the bleeding heart this year.
The work over the last couple of weeks has made the allotment look better than ever before and it's a good starting point for this season to carry on with sowing seeds, planting seedlings, maintaining the tidy state of it and continuing with our building projects. As a result, the allotment has once again become the oasis of calm, our sanctuary of happiness and most of all, one pretty nice place to grow vegetables and spend time in. We are back on track.
Gooseberry plant
Mrs V x
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