It’s that peculiar time again,that odd period when the plants are in , the seeds are up and the combination of rain and sun has sent everything into turbo charged mode. That includes the grass and the weeds.
I managed to get a few hours of free time on Sunday so headed plot ward. I was that one man who went to mow!
I managed to strim all the edges around the beds and run my trusty old box less push cylinder mower over the main paths just before it started to rain but I had things to do so on went the raincoat and wide brimmed hat.
The coat is just one of various ex-Royal Marine coats I’ve been given by relatives in the forces but the hat is a special sought out purchase.
The only tiny problem that sometimes catches me out is the sudden downpour when I tip my head forward and the build up of rainwater in the rim rushes past my face. The leather makes it form to my peculiar shape and hugs tight without leaving a red line, even against strong winds.
If you knew how long I’ve desired anything but a sweat stained baseball cap as head protection you’d understand why I’ve dedicated this much time describing it.
Anyway, enough hat pondering.
I managed to plant out my Butternut Squash plus I’ve sown to pairs of seeds to give myself another chance if the plant suffers the same fate as the Cantaloup melon of 2008. Put simply, having a single stem leaves a plant highly susceptible to persistent slugs with big teeth.
As I needed somewhere to put these I had already cleared and dug out the weeds, grass roots and marestail and lightened up the soil with a good hoeing through.
One of the joys of a small community is the generosity of neighbours. Our trading hut (every allotment site should have one) is a drop off point for any excess plants or equipment as well as a meeting place, a shop and a drop in advice centre.When I passed the shop, closed because it was the afternoon and it only opens Saturday and Sunday mornings and is run by volunteers, a few trays of small but dark green tomato plants had been left outside. This means they have been left as surplus for other plot holders to take away and use. One thing growers hate is waste. We would rather, in fact we are quite proud to, give people all our extra plants than throw anything away. Seed companies know they couldn’t ask very much money for fewer seeds and we all know most seeds will usually germinate at least to a seventy percent success an we rarely need four hundred artichoke plants so we give away the extras and keep the remaining seeds in the vain hope that we won’t impulse buy another twenty packets next year or that the kept seeds will still be fresh after twelve months in a biscuit tin.
Getting back to the point, I planted out the tray of ‘First in Field’ tomato plants, six in all. They still look dark and annoyingly healthy four days later after hail, high winds and low temperatures.