Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Things are never as bad as you think

Well, that's the case it would seem when it came to the allotment.

I haven't really paid a visit since before Christmas of last year, so I was expecting the worst.

I loaded the car up with three trays of garlic that I'd had in the mini greenhouse since autumn of last year. They'd been growing happily in vending cup pots in the greenhouse with the door open most days.

I also loaded the long handled loppers, the saw, and the extendable extra long lopper (the type you hook over the branch and then use the pull-cord to action the blade) as I intended to give the apple tree a good winter prune.

I arrived at the allotment and unlocked the gate - there wasn't another soul in sight. Drove up the path with a sense of trepidation and arrived at plot 35 and things didn't look too bad.

Sure, there's a lot of tidying up to do - there are planks of wood strewn about in readiness to be made into various things, there are some bits of metal that will come in handy I'm sure.

However, the overall sense is that it's manageable - which is far greater than I'd expected.

I set about pruning the apple tree and it took me about 45 minutes I guess by the time I'd trimmed back several of the lower, wider branches, then attacked what I could reach with the loppers. There were a few to thick for both loppers that required me climbing the tree, saw in hand and then steadily sawing them off where I could reach.

All in all it looks like a healthier tree now which should provide a good harvest this year fingers crossed.

There a lot of discussion over which method is best, "traditional" or raised beds. Well, for me I'd have to say raised. If I'd have looked at my plot laid out in a "traditional" manner then it would apear daunting and I would have fealt disheartened for sure. As it is the raised beds help the eye to seperate out the space and divide it up mentally into manageable chunks - well it works for me.

I planted three rows of garlic in one of the smaller beds with room left over for some onions perhaps or maybe some flowers of some description - I haven't decided yet.

I then tidied up the canes and laid them across the bottom rungs of the rose arch so that they're off the ground with room for air to circulate so that they don't rot too much.

There were also 6 big garden sacks in the back of the car full of the leaves raked up from the garden. I placed them onto some cardboard on a couple of the raised beds which should hopefully keep the weeds at bay. Tidied up a couple of the other beds - just scraping some weeds off and decided to call it a day.

Drove home with a renewed sense of optimism for the year ahead.

Oh, before I go - in other news we celebrated the 1st birthday of our son (yes, it does indeed fly by).

Just a couple of photos of the day that his Aunty Rach managed to send us.

1 comment:

Frances McC said...

Love the pics of little H - thanks.