Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Just couldn't be doing with it...

Brassicas go into a raised bed
I hope I don't give the impression here that trying to get stuff to grow on an allotment is a care-free jape, in which the protagonists - us in this case - skip merrily from one bountiful crop to the next, nary a care in the world as all around nature provides a soundtrack of pastoral idyll. But, just in case I have done, let the following stand as a corrective.
The thing is, sometimes you really just can't be arsed with any of it. Having not made it to the plot for a week, we dutifully headed down on the Monday of the bank holiday, but everything seemed like an effort entirely disproportionate to the reward, and it all just looked a bit crap. I spent a bloody age digging and weeding a patch in which we planned to plant leeks, the heavy cloddishness of which (in spite of fairly dry recent weather) I took as a personal insult. I strimmed a whole bunch of paths which I'd left neat and tidy the week before, but now mocked me in their unrulyness. I imagined the slugs/snails that had feasted upon new tomato growth in the polytunnel did so not out of hunger but only of pure and unmitigated spite.

Mood is a weird thing. On reflection, I'm putting some of the grimness of mine down to a combo of: guilt about not having been plotwards over the bank holiday, being a couple of days into the latest attempt to ditch the tabs, not being anywhere like as caffeinated as I normally would elect for that time of day, and having bought the wrong bloody size of environmesh with which to cover the carrots. They remain very much uncovered.

Even allowing for all that, the thing about veg gardening is that the longer you put it off, the more the weeds will have grown and the more the evil forces of pigeons/slugs/weevils/whatever will have conspired to undo your good work. Keeping on top of things while maintaining a sunny-ish dispostition taxes the mind as much as the body. Commitment is such a curse!

Anyway, for all that whinging, we did, on reflection, get a decent amount done in the time we were on site. A whole bunch of brassicas - two types of kale, savoy cabbages and round cabbages, all of which we grew from seed - have gone into a pre-limed raised bed which we then covered to keep off the pigeons and at least most of the cabbage whites. They had been hardened off at home, Getting them out means reclaiming a bunch of pots and on to the next batch of sowing...

Brassica bed
I eventually got a patch dug over, into which went the leek plantlings that had been in pots in the shed for a number of weeks now. In order to get them into what remained a heavy a claggy patch I eschewed any notion of using a dibber in favour of the cheat's method of just popping a plantling down the back of a spade into the ground.

Leeks away
In attempting to clear out some bindweed that was infiltrating the patch I lifted a flag, which sent the ants beneath it into a fevered panic, working in teams to grab the nearest grub and drag it into the nearest hole. You can't help but be impressed by their commitment to the cause. You wouldn't get an ant whining on about how gardening is hard work, that's for sure.

Strange creatures
Kasia sowed Purple top Milan turnips and radishes direct into containers, and planted out home-sown climbing bean seedlings around a cane pyramid. Two years ago they all died straight off, while last year they went mental and we had more beans than we sensibly knew what to do with. What will this year bring?

Beans away
So, that was that. Hey, at least we made it down there once over the weekend. I look forward to visiting the plot when next I'm able to draw some satisfaction, rather than tired resentment, from what's going on down there. Thanks for listening, it's been cathartic!

1 comment:

  1. Seems the weather for super growth whether weeds or plants and slugs and snails are having a feast. I have just started blogging again too and have changed over to blogspot.If you would like to take a look,I am here ;)


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