I keep heading off to the allotment and thinking ‘Naah, not much to be done here’, but of course, there’s plenty to do, just not very much digging thanks to the frozen ground. I carried out my plan of creating a raspberry patch last week. I’d ordered fourteen canes in total – 7 each of Glen Moy and Autumn Bliss. It took me an unreasonably long time to decide exactly what I wanted in terms of raspberry varieties, but I thought I’d at least get an even mix of autumn and summer fruiting varieties, and these have quite good reviews and seem to be high-yielding. I really wanted to get Glen Coe too, because they’re beautiful, like goth raspberries. Look!
Well, there’s still hope. I’m toying with the idea of planting yet more raspberry canes to form a barrier on the only ‘open’ side of the allotment, but they’ll take a while to grow and I’m thinking it might be more sensible to invest in a fence. Or I could have both, I suppose.
Anyway, the ground is almost totally frozen at the moment, except the patch that was under the carpet. I know there are very mixed feelings among gardeners as to the use of carpets. I myself found them useful for suppressing weeds over the winter – it was extremely easy to dig, and I hadn’t done anything to that patch previously, so I saved myself some work there. That said, I wouldn’t use it for the WHOLE allotment, and I don’t think I’d use it as a ‘permanent’ fixture, as part of paths for example. This is what it looks like now:
Not much to look at really, but give it 9 months (maybe longer). I’ve also had a go at marking out paths, partly with some paving stones I found elsewhere on the allotment, and partly – less conventionally – with pinecones that are currently scattered all round the area. At least it’ll help me remember where I meant the paths to be so I know more or less where to walk.
I’ve also written out Allotment Plan No. 300 (approx), this time to reflect exactly what seeds I own. I bought oca from the Real Seed Catalogue a couple of weeks ago – a variety called ‘Scarlet with White Eyes’. It’s quite pretty. I’m planning on planting it in a separate bit from my potato patch. I’m in two minds about whether to go to a Potato Day in Durham next weekend. I know exactly which varieties of potatoes I plan to grow this year (Shetland Black, Pink Fir Apple and Cara, since you asked, and perhaps Ratte if I have enough space but I mustn’t get too carried away), and there’s no guarantee that all these will be available on the day. Also, it’s quite a long way to go by public transport when you have the internet option. That said, I’d quite to experience the ‘social’ aspect of it – asking people advice on potato growing and so on. I don’t know, it’d be nice if there was one closer by. If anyone reading this knows of any in a radius between Edinburgh and Newcastle, please let me know.
I took a stroll through the allotments today and was greeted by lots of ducks!
I’m quite tempted by the idea of getting some kind of livestock of my allotment, but realistically speaking it won’t happen any time soon. From a responsibility point of view, it’s far more to take on (I’d feel bad if all my plants died because I’d been distracted by playing computer games for weeks, but if all my ducks died, I’d feel considerably worse). But it’s something to think about for the distant future. For now, I’ll just say hello to the neighbouring ducks.