A Year in the Allotment: Spring

This is the first of a seasonal series on our first year on the allotment. We took up residence in January this year of a run-down little plot just 2 minutes walk from our house. It is a magical little place with just a 30-odd feet stretch of ground, a shed and about 20 fruit bushes. With great excitement and very little knowledge we set about tidying the place up on very cold February weekends.

This is how it looked when we first took it over in January:

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10 weeks later we have toiled and dug. We have pulled up 15 raspberry bushes and individually removed the bind weed from each one’s roots and then replanted them, filled an old wheelbarrow with rogue mint plants, made a raised strawberry bed, planted rows of potatoes, a thriving rhubarb, an artichoke, onions (which I think the pigeons have already eaten!) and garlic. We have been rewarded with beautiful blossom from the plum tree and the last of the Brussels sprouts and purple-sprouting broccoli. I cannot wait to see what surprises will come up over the summer and looking forward to collecting some berries if nothing else grows!

It is a lot of hard work but we really feel like we’ve earned our dinner by the end of the day. We have really enjoyed meeting some of our allotment neighbours (who appeared when the sun came out in April) and learning from them. I don’t think we realised how invasive bind weed could be and how difficult it is to eradicate weeds without use of chemicals as we are trying to be completely organic.

This was G doing a bit of digging in the April sunshine (there is no filter on this photo!!) :

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Something we really enjoy is a nice cup of tea in our Thermos, sat on the bench by our shed and looking over all the hard work we’ve done.

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