I've just realised I started doing this blog exactly one year and two days ago. Happy Birthday Blog.
A few months ago I posted the picture above, and said I would post another one in a few months time. Well, here is the promised update:
The flowers are lovely and doing a good job of keeping that area weed free (ish)
The runner beans are flowering,
There is plenty of fruit on the tomatoes.
The potatoes are looking sickly. I know they start to die back after a while, but this seems a little soon. The earlies have only just been in 12 weeks, and the second earlies shouldn't even be ready yet, so surely they shouldn't be turning yellow and falling over? The maincrops look fine, apart from two which look a bit shrivelled, no idea why.
I wouldn't dream of moaning about hot sunny weather, but all this watering I'm having to do... it's the first year this has happened, and now I realise what a massive downside it is. I spent about 3 hours up there this afternoon, my back is aching and it's not as if you can put your feet up when you get home. Oh no. Then there's the strawberries to wash and hull, potatoes to scrub, lettuces to wash and beans to pod. That's before you've even started cooking. There is just SO much to do at the moment, and not just on the allotment. I had planned to do some curtain making tonight, but I just can't face it. As I was waiting for the pictures to upload, I was simultaneously scrubbing potatoes, podding beans and half-watching the tennis. On my way home from the plot I was fantasising about walking through the door with the box of veg and saying, 'there you are dear, there's the veg, what are we having for supper?' while I take a shower and settle down with a beer to watch the tennis.
Well, you have probably guessed I am having an off day. So much so that I'm seriously considering scaling back the allotment next year. It shouldn't be so stressful that I start to resent it. Obviously I don't want to give it up, but I was thinking maybe I could fill quite a big area with green manure, and just grow less of everything, particularly those things which give minimum yield for maximum faff, eg peas. Maybe concentrate on easy, good value things like courgettes, tomatoes, sweetcorn and runner beans. Half the amount of potatoes, so no having to find space to store them, ditto onions. One whole section could be devoted to soft fruit, and with any luck there would be more time for things like jam-making.
I'll see how I feel in a couple of weeks.