April 19 2019

Temp – Hot! Actually not a clue. The new thermometer was not reading correctly and I have my doubts about the one inside the polytunnel.

Rainfall – 5mm. Have realised I was reading that gauge incorrectly too!

What a beautiful day. Spent the whole of it at the lottie. Kicked off with watering the polytunnel. There’s no running water at the lottie – well, there is but I have to get the longest hose you’ve ever seen – so I rely on my water butts. I really need to resolve this. I’m tempted to get a solar powered water butt pump (there’s no power either – again, not in the vicinity) or a solar panel. Could really do with some advice though as neither option is cheap.

Hubs made two new raised beds, which replaced the wood from the first two beds that we ever built on the allotment. The first bed was built some twelve years ago, when Jack was still a baby.  Having decided that our back garden at home would be given over for him to play in, my Dad let me have some space in their ‘back garden’ to grow some spuds. We actually grew so much in that first 10′ x 5′ bed! I think I probably leave too much space between crops now. Anyway, twelve years, eight beds and one polytunnel later…

You may remember I noted in one of my earlier posts that I had sown my parsnip seeds in rows in bed one. I did a double take when I saw that seeds were germinating all over the bed. So many seeds in fact that I couldn’t make out my parsnip rows and I started to doubt whether I had sown them in rows at all. Kind of makes a change from wondering if I have sown them at all. Now that the seedlings are starting to develop their first set of true leaves I have deduced that the other seedlings are hops – from a nearby vine. I can now weed in confidence.

Planted seed potatoes in beds two and three. Dug trenches and put a layer of well-rotted manure in the bottom, topped with a little soil so the tubers aren’t sitting directly on manure. Bed two has Rocket, an early variety, and bed three, Wilja, a second early. Bed two was given a top dressing of manure last autumn and left for worms to do their magic but I still put some extra in. The soil from the trench is mounded up alongside and will be used to earth plants up as the potato tubers grow. The angle of the piles of earth is reputed to direct rainwater to the tubers, which sort of makes sense now but not when you later earth them up!

Though protected by a hat and factor thirty, by the end of planting them all I was absolutely pooped. Not complaining about the weather though. I’m hoping it will cheer up the cucumber as well as most of Britain


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