Have had a whole day at the plot today and about time too. Did lots of weeding, sowed some green manure in a few empty spaces, removed broad beans (leaving a few stumps with pods left to ripen for seed collection), re-sowed two rows of carrots which failed to germinate (although I'm a bit worried it might be the seeds that are at fault - they are Autumn King as opposed to the Early Nantes which are doing really well at the moment) and put a few more french bean seeds in the gaps where they hadn't come up.
I have run out of compost bin space. Next job, as a matter of urgency, is to empty the older bin to make some more space. One thing I could do with it is mulch the PSB.
Cauliflowers have suddenly appeared, although they are a bit yellow and pathetic looking. Several of the PSBs are sprouting and one has already started flowering. Gathered enough cauliflower and brocolli to make a very nice brassica cheese, topped with grilled red onion and served with new potatoes and cherry tomatoes - delicious.
Pauline was going around with a man with a clipboard, taking notes. She says, "this gentleman is judging the plots."
"What for?" I ask.
"Best kept allotment" says she.
"I thought you had to enter for that - fill out a form and such like"
"Well," she says, "if I see a plot that's looking pretty good, I enter it."
I was being 'entered'. Gosh. I wonder what constitutes 'pretty good' - it obviously doesn't necessarily mean neat and tidy and no weeds.
They stood there for quite a while looking at it, and I could hear her telling him all about the vandalism, and all the misfortunes that have befallen my shed. Perhaps I will win the 'most stoical in the face of extreme provocation' consolation prize.
Below is a list of 'things to do differently/better' next year, I have been meaning to jot down for a while now. A bit boring to read but hopefully will be useful for me to consult next spring.
Vertical supports - two rows - use both sides. Sow one row a month starting in April. Sow direct?
Sow direct - four rows, two in May, two mid June. Some spares in pots.
Sow runner beans direct?
Lots more early Nantes
Maybe just 3 varieties, 1 early, 1 2nd early, 1 main. Stagger planting times - 2nd earlies later than 1st.
P.S Brocolli - sow later - late spring, transplant early summer.
Don't bother with calabrese/cauliflower
Slug protection for cabbages