Saturday, 20 April 2013

Getting on reluctantly with the Swindon allotment

I went rather reluctantly down the Swindon allotment this afternoon.

After the pleasure of the beautiful surroundings and heavenly soil of the Lechlade one, my heart wasn't really in it. But I managed to build up a bit of enthusiasm while I worked, though it didn't help having two men from the Salvation Army on the allotment next door. Not that they spoke to me, but I didn't feel relaxed with them around. One of them was an old hand, and he was telling his new helper all about the plot. In fact, they spent most of the time talking, and very little time working.

I put in the two rows of Stuttgarter onions that I bought this morning, then decided to fill up the space down the bottom with the seeds I had left. So I put in another row of parsnips interspersed with radish, a row of beetroot, and about three-quarters of a row of Maestro carrots, finishing off the row with cut-and-come-again lettuce. I prepared the ground in the same way as I did that at Lechlade, but surface weeding only. It is too late to waste time digging: everything has to go in, and fast.

I started digging over the weedy patch up the top,
but the soil is so heavy and wet compared with that at Lechlade, I gave up after two rows, wondering what I was achieving by simply turning it over. I wish Nobby had rotovated that bit too, but I can't go on asking him for favours.

It's quite amazing how far you can make seed stretch when you try. I got two rows out of a 60p packet of beetroot seed. I must go to Wilkinson for more seeds next week.

When I was looking for the owner of the chickens that escaped I talked to a man who offered me a whole box full of seed potatoes (Charlotte). So now I can plant loads both here and at Lechlade, and won't have to buy any more earlies, though I might buy some more maincrops for Lechlade, something different from the Desirees.

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