Monday, 23 May 2016


Things are moving along here on 45 still and I have plants nearly ready for 47. The little and often approach is working and I am now managing to drive myself to the allotment. 

CP and I last went up yesterday to pot on the courgettes and check on the greenhouse. I had not been feeling very well at the end of last week so I asked a friend to check on things for me.

The greenhouse is being overtaken by tomatoes and cucumbers. We have 3 cucumber plants and well over a dozen different tomato plants. I think the plan is to rearrange the greenhouse this week and move the smaller table out to make room for them.

The peas are ready for planting out, as are the sweetpeas. The sweetpeas will be going up the trellis towards the back of 45. The old parts of a greenhouse that had been leaning against it were taken by the scrapman last week. We leave the top as a nature section however a quick strim around the edge and they will be planted.

I managed a small amount of weeding in the large raised bed where the root veg will be going, CP and I managed to top up the bark using the small child's spade and a bucket which we both lifted. It took 7 trips but was worth it. Next visit we will plant the seeds, although CP has already planted some beetroot in her bed. We found the root veg grew really well in the bark last year so will plant carrots, beets and parsnip, parsnip going in the middle so less disturbed. I have some onions that I've started from seed but I think will only get as far as developing into sets for next year, so I will plant some near the carrot rows to deter the nasties.

The rhubarb on both plots is spectacular and I will be playing with recipes in the coming week. The strawberries are the one that I am really looking forward to. I'm setting the Little P's a challenge to find more interesting recipes. They are forming nicely and I find my mouth watering in anticipation.

One last quick check around and the greenhouse watered. Time to come home and rest feeling satisfied at having achieved more than planned. (I hadn't planned on topping up the bark in the raised bed.) I had also spoken to a fellow committee member regarding what would be acceptable to do on 47 given my current abilities, which left me feeling a lot happier. However the most satisfying part was knowing that I managed to get myself there to start doing the work.

Thanks for reading and happy digging. :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Many hands make light work

Following a few days of good weather, combined with the little and often principal, we got quite a lot done over the weekend and with Dad W paying a visit, we stopped to have a good look around before setting to it again.

The strawberry plants that I thinned in March are back in full force and full of flowers. looking forward to experimenting with the strawberry wine, plus I have a fantastic strawberry shortcake recipe I can't wait to try out.

CP's bed has had a layer of compost and organic slug repellent pellets down.  The peas she replanted are starting to make an appearance and the flower seeds are starting to shoot.

The chickpeas JJ planted in her bed a few weeks ago have finally made an appearance.

The changeable weather has helped the garlic and shallots to thrive, growing 6 inches in a week.

The raspberries are starting to blossom. It's amazing to think that 2 months ago they were nothing but stumps and now they are tall and full of buds.

We were given a cucumber plant by Dad P and it has doubled in size and is flowering with 3 small cucumbers forming.

The seedlings are growing well now they are being watered more frequently.

The smaller tomatoes sprang up overnight whereas the others have been up for a few weeks now.

The Winston potatoes have broken the surface so the mounds have received a good top up of bark and are now a foot tall, but will need topping up again by the end of the week.

The right side of the flowerbed has been well covered by the wild strawberry. The only weeds that have survived are the docks, which will take some serious digging. A job for when I am feeling more capable. In the mean time the strawberries are doing a good job of warding off the other weeds.

The flowers are managing to break through the layer of strawberries and these Tulips are looking pretty beautiful.

On 47 Mr P managed to dig most of this bed the other weekend. The rest of the bed as you see is  not great but the plan is to focus on 47 now 45 is well underway.

Bob went exploring with the camera this evening and spotted that the Wild Geraniums were flowering in the back flowerbed of 47. 

While Bob was off with the camera, Mum and Dad W, CP, JJ and I were busy potting on, watering and designing potato buckets. We potted on Tomatoes, cucumbers, butternut squash from the greenhouse


I planted baby sweetcorn and melons on Friday. Today, 4 days later, they were ready to be potted on.


CP and JJ had great fun with the chalk pens designing their own potato buckets and planting their own Supertatoes. (The Little P's new favourite superhero)


JJ planted 3 Pink Fir Apple and CP planted the Supertato she decorated at school and brought home to become a Super-Growing-Tato.

Dad was my hero today. Lugging bags of compost, filling pots with compost ready for me to plant the young plants and carrying heaving watering cans.

As the rain clouds gathered we called it an evening. The greenhouse is overflowing with tomatoes and cucumbers and the melons, squash and babycorn have enough room to grow while we finish preparing the beds on 47.

Thanks for reading and happy digging. :)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

My mum my hero

Having been abandoned for the weekend by Mr P, the job of running us around fell to Mum W.

Encouraged by the lovely weather we took a run up to the allotment to water the greenhouse. With Mr P being out of town the plants had not been watered for a couple of days and were desperate.

Mum set to watering while I had a look at what could be salvaged (the job I should have done on Sunday.) I replanted some more gherkins, mini bell peppers and giant pumpkins.

I found the onion seeds that JJ and I planted at Easter were finally starting to sprout but one had been partially tipped out so I combined the 3 trays into 2.

Having finished the job we set out to do mum and I started talking about what we were planning to grow this year. Mr P had cleared the raised bed where the climbing French beans were going, so we decided we were going to try planting the beans directly into the bed.

Mum set to breaking up the soil again and digging trenches while I stripped back a comfrey plant. We left a good layer of ripped up comfrey in the bottom of each trench and topped it up with compost from old grow bags before planting the seeds and covering with soil. We planted 4 rows of French beans, 2 of greens and 2 of purple.

I set to tidying the seeds and rearranging pots in the greenhouse while mum gave a bed at the back a quick dig where the grass was sneaking back. It's ready for planting mange tout and sugar snap peas on our next visit.

I really can't thank my Mum enough for her help this weekend. I feel like we are making progress. She made sure I didn't overdo it, but did enough to feel that I contributed and made progress. We got more done than I thought we would and left the plot feeling a bit tired but satisfied. Next blog entry will be an update of how things are growing, having taken some lovely photos today.

Thanks again to Mum and thanks to you for reading. Happy Digging :)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Thank You :)

Thank you to everyone for all your kind words of encouragement. We all get down and have bad days as well as the good. I aim to be honest and it would  be a untrue to write all is hunky dory on plot 45 and 47 when you have a massive failure like last weekend.

I have sucked it up, lifted that chin up, got off the sofa and done something productive last night and today.

Last night JJ and I looked through the seeds we took to the allotment on Sunday. We found the chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils we had soaked ready for planting. Quite a few had sprouted so I sent JJ looking for pots and compost. Not the best quality quality compost, but be we planted seeds in the pots anyway, the remainder going to the compost heap. I will not be surprised if we find them sprouting out the top of the compost bin.

I got Mr P to help me find the propagator out and today have made a start on getting it up and running again.

I had replanted the Padron and Big Jim chilli seeds last week but they were sitting on the window sill not doing much. They have now got the prime spot on the propagator and have been joined by Bell peppers, Courgettes, Baby corn and Melons. I also potted up a couple of Scary Face Pumpkins and Turks Turban in pots sitting on the window sill, basking in full sun.

I have a plan of action for the coming week and want to try to do 1 task for 30 mins- 1 hour ideally each day but being dependent on someone taking me to the allotment it is more likely to be every other day. Being a short time I can rest before and after without doing myself any further injury. I have 3 raised beds just about ready for planting. I have an abundant of seeds, pots and compost. If plants end up being transplanted twice before they go in the ground so be it. I will not be beaten!!!

Having had my exercise for the day, I'm off for a rest before the Little P's are home from school.

Thank you all again so much. Thanks for reading and Happy Digging :)

Thursday, 12 May 2016


What a changeable week we've had, glorious sunshine one day, wet and stormy another. The changeable weather certainly reflecting my changeable enthusiasm for the allotment. What was meant to be a few hours family bonding time at the lottie, became a frustrating few hours ending in agonising pain disheartment.

While I was hospital we received a letter from the committee regarding the lack of cultivation and slow progress on Plot 47. We took advantage of the good weather on Sunday to try to rectify the situation and took the barbecue up to the allotment so could make a day of it.

I don't know about you, but I like to set myself 2-3 jobs to do each visit, however I find whenever we go to the allotment with all the little P's, I seldom complete all my jobs.

My jobs this time were to (wo)man the bbq, supervise the planting of the rest of the potatoes and planting seeds in pots. All jobs that I could do sitting down. I managed to complete 1 out of my 3 jobs and had to spend the best part of the following 3 days laid on the sofa recovering!!

The little P's were asked to help clear bricks and restack them neatly, sort own raised beds, work with Mr P to sort a bed on 47, fill pots with compost and plant the potatoes under my supervision. We split the jobs so they each had 3 to do. They did really well and managed to complete 3 of their 5 jobs.

Mr P's jobs were to tidy the greenhouse, general tidy across both plots and sort 1 bed on 47. He managed 2 and a half of his jobs, finding a metal barrel buried a foot into the ground and its plastic lining had shattered and ended up covering the bed.

We got the bbq going and set to tidying the allotment. I sat around sorting a mixed bag of seed potatoes that we saved into Charlotte's, Desiree and Pink fir, before starting to cook. I found I couldn't sit to do the bbq and had to stand, first mistake of the day.

KP moved onto digging shallow trenches in the bark while the rest of the Little P's finished tidying. Second mistake showing her how to dig the trench using a rake.

So food eaten and very well cooked even if I do say so myself. 1 job completed, time to get the potatoes in while Mr P carries on clearing a bed on 47. Third mistake of the day, bending down to pick up the Charlotte potatoes and then again to put them in the trenches. Only 1/3 of the potatoes ended up planted.

As I leave KP to start heaping up the wood chips over the potatoes and plan to start planting seeds with CP, I notice that JJ and Bob are starting to argue at the opposite end of the plot. JJ who normally loves being at the allotment wants to go play with her friends round the corner with Bob. Bob wants to be helpful and finish her jobs, plus is hot and bothered after helping Mr P empty a waterbutt that was in the middle of the bed he was clearing. Mistake number 4 charging to the other end of the allotment to intervene in the heated discussions.

Next job get CP on task again and get her weeding her bed. She decided she wanted to replace the peas the slugs had eaten and plant her own beetroot. Mistake number 5 bending down to help her scatter some fresh compost around, but rectified by asking KP to abandon potatoes and fetch a chair.

At this point we all decide we have had enough. We let JJ and Bob go play, KP and Mr P start to tidy up and I go sit down. Mistake number 6, I can't get back up off the chair and struggle to walk back to the car.

Once finally home, I can not lift my right leg to get up the stairs to have a lie down and spend the rest of the day unable to move off the sofa. I realise at this point that I made sure the Little P'a were wearing Sun cream however I neglected myself and my shoulders were sore. Mistake number 7!

Seeds which really need to be planted have not been planted. There are now dozens of Sharp shards of plastic littering a bed that should be ready for planting. I was left useless for days only just really recovering today. Top that with the fact that there is an ever increasing chance we will be receiving a further letter from the committee, I do not know if am not well enough for the next committee meeting to plead my case.

Today is the 2 year birthday of this blog! I looked back at how excited and enthusiastic I was about my allotment and all the plans I had. Some worked, some fell flat on their backside and others never got off the ground as with everything in life. I don't know if it is the pain, frustration at my body taking too long to recover or the feeling of little support from my fellow committee members, but today it is a chore, one which I am not fit to do and no longer want to do.

I apologise reader for not being my usual jovial self but the weekend left me very dejected and wondering if it really is worth it!!? Maybe my next visit will renew my passion, right now I am losing hope. :'(

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you are happy digging.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Withdrawal symptoms

So it's been 3 and a half weeks since I have visited the plots and I am itching to get my hands dirty. Not being able to walk there or drive myself, I persuaded Mr P to take me for a look around last night.

I was pleased to see that the seedlings were coming on nicely in the greenhouse although they have been somewhat neglected in my absence and were desperate for a good drink.

The slugs had been at it again and taken the tops off CP's peas. Luckily she planted 3 trays full in  the greenhouse so she can transplant them at the weekend.

JJ's leeks are starting to grow but again the slugs have been busy chewing the tops off her onion sets and the flowers she planted. Slug repellent pellets and coffee grounds for the soil going down on the next visit. At least that's one job I can do, or rather help CP to do!

The shallots are all up as are the garlic cloves planted in March.

There's no sign of the Winston potatoes yet however the pots in the greenhouse are shooting through. We planted these last year hoping for a Christmas harvest, however It looks like we will have a good crop this Summer. (along with stray pea plant by CP)

The flowers in the flowerbed are blooming and the tulips are looking spectacular. As usual the weeds are invading but they will have to wait until I am able to pick up a fork. The Nigella are back in full force too.

In the mean time there are dozens of packets of seeds to be planted which is something I can do with some help from the Little P's while Mr P is taming the weeds.

Thanks for reading. Happy digging :)