Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Four hours on the Lechlade allotment

I spent four hours on the Lechlade allotment today, in beautiful sunny weather, trying to get as much done as possible. First, I cleared a patch by the wall, and planted some near-dead strawberry plants that I'd rescued from Big John's allotment in Swindon. He'd hacked up a patch of them beside the fence because he wants to extend his lawn across both his allotments. I think it was a terrible waste, but not everybody loves strawberries as much as I do.
I then started planting potatoes. I'd brought in that cardboard box about half-full of seed Charlotte potatoes. I planted two rows before giving up. It was terribly hard work. First I had to clear the surface weeds, then I had to hack holes deep enough. I started off by hacking trenches with my Man Hoe (that's what I call it: it's a mattock, or Italian hoe, a zappa). I call it a Man Hoe because it is so big, and I resort to it when all else fails. It is usually "man enough for the job" (NB. irony alert!).
This job was done in fairly hot sunshine, and I am aching now and will probably be unable to move tomorrow morning. Nevertheless, I got two long rows in, so nobody is going to go short of new potatoes this summer. I have brought the rest of the Charlottes home and will plant them in my Swindon allotment. I still have a row of Jersey Royals and a row of Desiree to plant at Lechlade.
(The basket, by the way, is courtesy of Jim in the shop. He describes them as French, and they may well be. He chucked my two out because they were broken, but they're still good enough for carrying weeds).
After that and a long sit down in the shade with a bottle of water, I started on the easier work (the chair is a shop reject as well).

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