Return to the Allotment

I finally managed to get down to the allotment this afternoon. The sun was out, and despite the fact that the frost still hadn’t melted in the shady spots, I thought it was a good opportunity to get down there. Our allotment site is quite exposed; it’s located right on the outer edges of our semi-rural commuter town, only a few minutes walk from my house.  When it’s windy, the wind rips across the site, seldom obstructed due to the lack of hedging, large shrubs and structures. So when it’s cold, it’s really cold.

My wellies are spotty and I love them, but they’ve split on both sides. So despite my pair of tights and two pairs of socks, my feet slowly froze throughout the course of the afternoon. Mental note: must put ‘welly warmers’ on Christmas and birthday list.

The chickweed and fat hen are slowly taking hold in my absence, so I went at them fork and hoe today. From the front, at least, the plot looks passable – we’ve got Radar onions and two beds of leeks on the go at the moment. From the back of our allotment plot, however, it’s a disaster. In an attempt to make it look like I’d at least set foot on there in the past year, I cut back the summer fruiting raspberry canes and hacked down the crisp mummified remains of the sunflowers, which were (almost astonishingly) still standing. The asparagus that we allowed to go to seed over the summer was also cut down. I laid some old carpet over the section of allotment that has been swamped by couch grass – that, I reckon, is at least a couple of days worth of digging there. I hate couch grass. Probably more so than bindweed. And being an organic gardener (which causes me a lot more work, but ultimately more satisfaction!), I refuse to succumb to Rich’s lazy-sort-of-serious-but-wind-up suggestion of “just spray it all with weedkiller YEAH!”

Anyroad, I managed to prepare another bed ready for a session of garlic planting. By the time I’d managed to get it ready, *I* was ready to go home. I couldn’t feel my toes and the sun was sinking fast, so I’ll probably try and head down there in the next couple of days. I don’t know what the garlic I’ve bought is going to turn out like – I think it’s called Cristo? Last year I planted Thermidrome garlic, but it turned out a bit musty tasting. I don’t know whether it’s a result of my slightly sandy soil here at the Smallest Smallholding, my air -drying methods or just the way Thermidrome tastes. But this time I just grabbed what was left on the garden nursery shelf – so Cristo it is! I’ll probably buy some more if I get paid anytime soon, as I could easily eat garlic and onions every day for the rest of my life.


  1. Sod the welly warmers. Sounds like you need new wellies on the Xmas list!

  2. Hee hee Jade has some new wellies (I remember you liked her star ones) she has some leopard print ones now, from a garden shop in Sandy. I attempted to dig some new beds this weekend, gave up because the hens were all under my feet, and the ground was too solid. Ah well!

    I have tagged you for a Tree Of Happiness Award, visit my blog for details, no worries if you cannot complete it.

    Karen x

  3. Would really recommend Rigger boots (we got ours from Screwfix, do mail order) as they are lined inside and don’t eat socks like wellies do. In a richer life I might have neoprene lined comfort but I have just been reading an article recommending some boots for over £200 so perhaps not.

  4. allotment blogger says

    Can’t be sure about your garlic, but I’d recommend buying Wight varieties if you can get them (there is a Wight Cristo) because they are UK bred, not Mediterranean, so they tend to give a richer flavour in our somewhat less glorious summer than imported garlic does. I grew up on the Isle of Wight, so I know this for a fact!