Apologies for the dodgy photo, i only had my phone with me.
Decided today i had to brave the allotment and see what the damage was from not getting there before HESFES. I had horrible vsions of the other 4/5s of our patch being havens of productivity and mine being a weed heap.
It WAS a weed heap, but the others were too, so i don’t feel too embarrassed. Seems like everyone is finding it hard to find the time. The black plastic had mainly held, one side totally and one side until perhaps a week or so ago. So i had one nice side of rotivated, weedfree soil, still a bit of dead grass in it but usable and one side with some thistles and anaemic looking bramble shoots. However the uncovered bits were pretty hideous; the left had gone really grassy and the right, though not discernably different before, was not grassy but was covered in small thistles. It all looked a bit overwhelming.
So we covered the grassy bit with our plastic so hopefully it will all die back and set about the thistles. Took a while but we got them all up. Weeded round the onions which are growing nicely (left green bit behind the newly placed black sheeting) and then forked furrows right across the back which was agreeably easy thanks to the sheeting having kept the rotivated soil loose. Thank GOODNESS i did that!
I had Fran and Maddy with me; it had been a mixed success really because they whinged a bit and kept asking for jobs then only did them for a couple of minutes but once the furrows were done they came into their own and planted about 40 potatoes out and covered them back up to their shoots. Plenty of useful discussion was going on about sunlight, water, snails etc. maddy did ask a great question but i just can’t recall it now. Damn.
While they were doing that i carved out two more furrows in the harder earth and when that was done they planted out shallots (bit late but hopefully they will do okay) and leeks that Max got from a friend at work.
So really i feel extremely virtuous now – unfortunately i’ve still only used half our patch so far so more work coming – thank goodness i didn’t try to take on a whole one this year! Was also very nice to meet our “allotment neighbours” J and I while we were there and discover yet another “spooky mutual friend from aeons ago” thing. Its been a week for it.