We spent most of the day in the allotment today. We got lucky with the rain – while it was forecast, it didn’t really start to come down heavily until after we were safely home. The earth was a bit heavy and sticky from all the rain of the last few days, but that didn’t stop us digging!
I moved some of the younger, fruitful strawberry plants to a new patch at the end of the plot. The remaining, older plants will be given away (one of our allotment neighbours has already offered us a blackcurrant bush in exchange for some) and the old strawberry patch will get some new inhabitants.
Then we banged in some stakes, strung some wire across and tied up the raspberries. Remember we thought they were autumn raspberries? It seems that the canes were all cut down in the spring, which is why there’s no fruit this year – they’re all first-year canes. And the taller ones are starting to droop at the top, so they’re probably summer-fruiting after all. So now they’re supported for the winter. I moved some stray canes back into the line. They looked a bit sad when we left, but hopefully the rain will have perked them up. As my Dad would say: They’ve got two chances – slim, and none.
While I was doing this Chris was doggedly digging up many, many potatoes. Then he spent a very long time cleaning them all while I cooked dinner.
There were so many we’ve had to pile them three layers deep to dry.
There’s still a bag of them to be washed! We had some for dinner – steamed, with rare roast beef. They were creamy and delicious.
That’s about two-thirds of the allotment fully dug over, now. We’re going to put in some late-season crops; mostly salad, with some spring onions and spring greens. I would also really like an apple tree – or two. I eat a lot of apples, and I’m always ridiculously excited when I go to the greengrocer’s and the first of the English Coxs are in. If we get a couple of trees on dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstocks and train them into a cordon, I think we can avoid overshadowing our plot or anyone else’s. I’ve been browsing Keeper’s Nursery and there are a couple of varieties that might work for us. I’m going to phone them some time for advice.