Wednesday, 18 June 2008

'The Wall'

I think I've hit 'the wall'. Just like last June too. It's weeks since I've done any decent amount of work at the plot, weeds are swamping everything, there are still two beds to dig over before I can plant out my summer cabbages, pumpkins and corn, and I just can't face it.

But this blog and the allotment have always motivated each other - that's why I started it in the first place - so here's a quick update on not very much to try to get me going again.

GOOD NEWS: The strawberries are fruiting away; no great amount but a decent handful every few days.
BAD NEWS: Actually considering they're mostly under two feet of grass they're doing pretty well, but the slugs and millipedes are eating quite a lot too.
GOOD NEWS: The asparagus is looking SO healthy compared to last year, with no beetle trouble at all, and my pride-and-joy seed-grown red petunias are flowering beautifully underneath it.
BAD NEWS: Still haven't planted out the replacement pea plants I started at home, and they're getting all tangled up.
GOOD NEWS: The beans are doing really well, with hardly any slug trouble. I've started a tubful at home too, and they're great.
BAD NEWS: The lettuce patch is so completely overgrown I don't think I'll get anything else out of it this year, unless maybe the beetroots are still ok under all that grass, or unless I clear it and start new sowings.
GOOD NEWS: My water lily is spreading its leaves on the surface at last and the pond and herb patch are looking lovely.
BAD NEWS: I've been persuaded that a lot of the slug-damage on my brassicas is actually pigeon damage. I thought pigeons only went for the flowering parts, but apparently I'm wrong and they need netting from the outset, so I'm kicking myself for leaving them unprotected.
GOOD NEWS: The broad beans are looking good. I don't really know when I'm supposed to pick them, but I think they're about ready...
BAD NEWS: Loads of the red onions are flowering already. Does that mean I won't be able to eat them? How can I stop them flowering??
GOOD NEWS: Some of the white onions are ready to eat already, so we've started harvesting them as needed, just as last year's supply ran out. This means we haven't bought onions in a year!
And REALLY GOOD NEWS: The tomatoes I thought were disease-stricken are all growing away healthily and happily now! Woo!

There.

Now I've got Thursday, Saturday and Sunday off and maybe some free time tomorrow afternoon, and the weather's looking pretty good, so there's really no excuse for not going down there and kicking some serious couchgrass butt before next week. Those pumpkins and sweetcorn WILL be planted before I go to Glastonbury...
Right, Eddie?

8 comments:

marigold said...

I find it comforting to say, "well, I am just weeding the (insert your veg of choice) today". When that is done, you have tricked yourself into a feeling of accomplishment. It can be addicting. Whereas, setting a general task of "weeding" can be soul-destroying when it cannot be done in a session or two.

Simon Kirby said...

Hi Nome. Be sure to post a picture of the water lily when it comes out. They're so beautiful, the one in my home pond is just about open too.

My red onions are also bolting. I think they're prone to it. Use them as soon as you can and just take out the woody core that'll have formed. Don't break off the flower spike - I did that and rain goes down inside and rots the bulb.

Pigeons on my site will strip brassicas the day they're planted. Netting's the only way.

Simon

glosterwomble said...

Sounds to me as if you've got loads to be positive about!! But it can get you down sometimes. I'm lucky having my unfaltering partner backing me up and making me feel better when I throw the spade across the plot!

As Marigold has said, just do a small area first and it will make you feel inspired to do the rest.

Our waterlily has just flowered for the first time ... so beautiful! Have a great summer.

Amy said...

Keep going Nome, you are doing really well. I expect the beetroot are doing fine under the grass and just get on with eating the onions (the best part anyway).

Weeds are always a bit of a nightmare at the time of year and it really doesn't help that it keeps going hot and then rainy.

Matron said...

I identify with all of what you write on this post! I don't have a day off work till next Tuesday and I've just been putting off doing the weeding for ages. At least the birds can't find all my strawberries because they are covered in weeds!

Paul and Melanie said...

I've heard of a few people with bolting red onions and I'm a tad worried now... Having never grown onions of any kind before what should I be looking for to ensure I pick them before this happens?

And Nome, I know the feeling, I've just had a month or so of bashing against the same 'wall' as you. I just got to the point where I decided I had to forget about weeds in all the planted beds and path and just get stuff in the ground then worry about making it look nice...

Matron said...

Howz the weeding going? very satisfying when it finally gets done. I expect you will be at Glastonbury soon, so no weeding this weekend. Enjoy yourself.

Soilman said...

Nome, hi

* Break off the red onion flowers, quick!!
* Net the brassicas. It's never too late. Provided they've not been totally eaten to hell, they'll recover

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