My parents arrived today, searching for grandkids as predicted.
Finding the flat childless, they were persuaded to walk along to the allotment in search of productivity. There I handed them a fork each and set them off at either end of the row of manky cabbages in a horticultural dig out. Mum won of course, by virtue of both reaching the middle first and rooting out the biggest pile of couch grass and bindweed.
By means of a reward I brewed them a cuppa char each, after all they had just driven all the way from Yorkshire and ought to be able to multi-task while watering the spuds.
The Great North Run travel arrangements put paid to all plans for allotment labouring this weekend but I was able to do a reccy of some East Yorkshire plots and pick up more veg growing tips.
I think my dad was having payback thoughts after all the hard work he did on my allotment but “unfortunately” it was raining and we all know its not a good thing to dig on wet soil! Shame. Doesn’t stop you from admiring the handiwork of others though. They have some pretty productive plots in Bridlington but they seem excessively keen on brassicas, who needs 50 spring cabbages and 20 plants of purple sprouting? I am only jealous of course, I love purple sprouting and was just a bit too late with the plot to source any plants.
I met a couple of allotment holders who were happy to demonstrate the art of seed collection and monster onion growing. I am now going to scrub all the dahlia seeds from my order form and go out on the scrounge for dead heads. I hope to have a patch of prize specimens this time next year. As for onions, I’ve been alerted to the labour required to grow a monster, no wonder I only end up with pickling onions. The trick seems to be to grow them from seed, then keep em watered, manured and fertilised. Can’t go wrong.
I acquired a little pack of spicy salad leaves this weekend so on my return to London I made a quick trip to the lotty to sow them. I was going to sow over my row of rocket as I’d given up hope of the 6 year old packet producing anything but when I arrived I was greeted by a flush of green seedlings. How satisfying! Now I have two rows of salad stuff for the autumn.
The weeds are up in my newly dug bed as well. I must have missed some of the couch grass roots and its too late to dig it over again now. I’ll have to hope I can exhaust them with repeated hoeing.
I’ve been trying out a new website called myfolia, I think it is still in the beta testing stage but it is worth keeping an eye on. You can set up unlimited gardens such as home and allotment and then record all your planting details and journal entries. I think its going to be a really useful tool for monitoring successes and failures. If you use flickr for your photos it will automatically link into these as well, very pretty.