On the allotment - Good news and bad news

  • Last updated: 16 September 2022

Yesterday my allotment visit brought good and bad news. I’ve clearly made a big novice error and planted out too early, I’m sure my neighbours were raising their eyebrows! All this extra time at home has meant that I’m ahead with the planting and I also underestimated how much colder it is at the allotment than at home. So the beans and sweetcorn are looking very unhappy and I think I might lose them. Luckily as I’ve mentioned before I do have lots of beans so they are easily replaced and I’ve quickly sown more corn so it’s a lesson learnt without any serious damage done.

And as for the good part – I was weeding, looked up and spotted my first ever gooseberry! They looked like little beautiful gems shining in the sun and despite there only being about 5 of them it was enough to put the smile back on my face! In other good news my pre-accession, Pea Ave Juan, has its first flower, I’m really excited to taste my first pea!

I also decided its finally time to try to get rid of all the grass and weeds around my raspberry plants, this wasn’t done when we took on the allotment as I couldn’t see where the raspberries were. After weeding I’m using some of the leaves from my huge comfrey plant with compost on top to mulch. It’s risky because the compost has rather a lot of bind weed in it so I’m sieving through it as much as possible and taking my chances (at the end of the day what’s a little more bind weed anyway???)

One of the positive things to come out of the current isolation restrictions is the increase in seed swapping. Every year HSL support around 40 seed swap events, they are fantastic but still only a limited number of people get involved. However, current restrictions have pushed many of us into swapping instead of buying seed which is fantastic. I couldn’t get hold of what I wanted so asked around and found that everything was available and going spare in my village.

People were happy to give it or swap for something else. They also knew how the seeds grew in my area, could give me advice on planting and, although we exchanged from a safe distance, I met neighbours that I didn’t know before. There is also an annual fundraising plant sale in our village which I always try to attend. Of course, that couldn’t happen in the same way this year so instead a table has been put out with plug plants for sale and an honesty box payment system. Plants have been donated to the table as well, so it has run now for 2 weeks and shows no sign of stopping. What a fantastic way to encourage people to seed save and pass on plants!

More about Lucy...
Lucy is part of the fantastic Heritage Seed Library team, working hard to grow and preserve seed varieties that are no longer available so that our members can enjoy growing them at home. Raising two young children, Lucy is keen to grow an array of fruit and vegetables to become more sustainable and to encourage her children to get involved in growing.

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