Ignoring the Old Timers

Two successive weekends on the plot and I can officially declare the allotment season open. This weekend was particularly glorious and I may have even acquired a little sunburn.

I always get over excited at the first sign of spring sun and despite the old timers warning me that the soil is still too cold, I scatter my seeds and tubers with gay abandon.

Last weekend we dragged out the M1 Gardener and rotovated two of the cleared beds, planted a couple of rows of spuds and set up the seed bed with leeks and cabbage.

This weekend was much warmer but I found it far too easy to sit on the bench, basking in the sun, and passing out instruction as Lynn continued with the digging and planted another 4 rows of spuds. My only contribution was a little raking and the planting of 100 onion sets.

As ever I’ve ordered far too many potatoes and I could easily fill the entire plot if we weren’t interested in any other crops.

I was sent a copy of The Allotment Source Book by Caroline Foley a few months ago. With my new found gardening enthusiasm I’ve been tempted to pull it off the shelf and turn through the pages. It’s a massive tome at 384 pages and quite unlike the usual vegetable gardening books on my bookcase. Although it does have a monthly what to do guide and an A-Z veg guide, I would say that at least half of the book is given over to inspiring ideas of the veg growing variety.

It has a scrap book feel to it and the most fabulous photos. I’ve enjoyed flicking through the book – it has left me feeling as though I’ve been on a reconnaissance tour through a series of allotment sites and I’ve picked up tips for new structures and swanky pea supports.

I was very impressed to see the step by step guide to making nettle rope. I’ve had a go at this on one of my foraging trips and the demonstration looks very thorough.

The Allotment Source Book by Caroline Foley is available from New Holland Publishers.
Enter the discount code warrior at the checkout to receive 20% off and free P&P. (Offer valid until 31st March 2011.)

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