We can tell now that Spring is really here, the equinox has passed and the clocks gone forward, but nature has her own clocks. There are the first stirrings of growth. The perennials in my flower bed are surging up, but so are the weeds. First of the weeds is ground elder, this edible perennial grows under the nearby road and comes into my allotment via the corner. I will never be rid of it, and just have to keep on pulling it up, knowing that it will return. The first of the mare's tail is showing, I have been steadily winning the war with this weed, and now I certainly have less than before, just by continuing to pull it up.
But enough of the weeds, what else is growing.The first signs of the first early potatoes that I sowed are now peeping up, and the peas are thankfully appearing in one of the raised beds. That is pleasing, as I have been trying to deter rodents from eating them. The trick that I use is to plant the peas in a watered trench five centimetres deep and then squeeze a cloud of pepper dust on it to make the peas unpalatable to mice. Then after the trench has been filled, squeeze even more dust on top, just to add an extra deterrent.
Onions and rhubarb are also growing vigorously, as is the comfrey in one of the raised beds, which I am growing as a fertilizer crop [you don't eat it.] The apples are in bud and the plum is showing blossom.So all is looking well. But carrots and parsnip seeds are still not showing signs of growth, nor are the chive seeds, but I am unconcerned, they take time.
But there are other jobs to do. If it is dry tomorrow I repaint the picnic table, whose varnish is wearing thin. Then there is the new greenhouse, well, a second hand one. A friend is moving to another allotment site and giving me his greenhouse, a task that involves several men shifting the whole structure on poles to the new site. Of course, I will have to level the surface first and lay paving stones as the base. Then comes the joy of gluing it down with a strong chemical adhesive, and after that we will need to bolt it down for extra support. Tightening the fittings will also be needed after the transport. But a free greenhouse is worth the effort.
I have been planting seeds in the small growhouse in my back yard for transport as seedlings to the allotment. This is nursery work, and it is a really emotionally fulfilling task.
But there is still planting to be done, as not all beds are planted yet. It is a busy time of year, but I love it.
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