Pumpkins and Paths

I woke extra early this morning. After checking the weather forecast I got ready for a day at the allotment. The first thing I like to do when I arrive at my plot is set up the camping stove and get the kettle on.

tea on the plot

After a cup of tea and a mooch around the plot checking things over, I uncovered a section of the plot that has been tucked underneath blue tarp since spring. This area used to be a raised bed of strawberries left behind by the previous tenant, the tired-looking plants were past their best and wouldn’t be very productive (I could have saved some runners during summer but I knew I’d have plenty from the garden at home) so I decided to dismantle the raised bed and cover the area to block out light and moisture. Peeling back the tarp today revealed woody strawberry crowns that were easy to pull up and dark crumbly soil, alive with worms. It’s now ready to be dug over which gives me another bed for sowing or planting in spring, but first I need to dig out a what looks to be the remains of a small tree stump but that’s a job for another day.

The rain on Sunday gave the plot a good soaking, plot 33 is in full sun from sunrise to sunset and the ground baked hard as concrete during the 10 week (or so) drought. So this proved to be very useful today allowing me the chance to sort out something that has been bothering me. The paths. For months I’ve had to tread very carefully on the plot, full of bumps and dips I’m surprised I haven’t fallen over yet considering how clumsy I can be! I used the tip of my digging spade to slice through my bumpy paths and filled in the dips using excess soil. Job done and I can manoeuvre around my plot without fear of breaking bones.

allotment

On the flip side, the rain has helped all the dormant weed seeds to germinate so weeding is back in full swing on the plot. As I weeded around the pumpkins I noticed some Munchkin pumpkins were ready for picking, they are just the sweetest little things, a perfect pumpkin just in miniature form. I accidentally broke a stem clean off one of the Moranga pumpkins as I tried to slip a piece of weed fabric underneath (helps to prevent rotting), severing it from the vine. Whoops! It probably won’t store so well without the stem so I’ll just have to use it in a cake. All’s well that ends well. I couldn’t resist a pumpkin photo shoot what with the sizes being so vastly different.

pumpkins

pumpkins

pumpkins

pumpkins

pumpkins

After complaining about my flower patch being disappointing I was pleased to see the Velvet Queen sunflowers making a comeback. The drought really knocked them for six and any flowers I did get quickly went to seed.

basket of sunflowers

sunflowers

I decided to cut some for the house. I know they don’t fill the basket which wasn’t part of the plan but I still grew them and they’re beautiful so I’m happy.

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