Today was the first day in some time that I’ve done any serious digging. Strange given the title of this blog, but there you have it. I had been holding off, ostensibly to “keep things around for the wildlife” but following the recent cold weather, a few patches had turned into a black soggy mess. It was a sorry sight to see first thing as you enter the allotment, so something needed to be done.
While I failed to remember to take a picture of the “before” state, the “after” pics look pretty good. It was also good to get a bit of exercise and break a sweat. Today marked another year on this planet, and it is getting harder to ignore the fact that I no longer have the metabolism of a twenty year-old!
I was very fortunate to have received some birthday money from the family — thank you! Most of this, except for Aunt Maxine’s gift*, will be spent on scaffolding boards to make raised beds and compost/soil to fill them. Today I cleared and covered an area that will house six raised beds. We hope to build more than that this winter, but six would be a good start. The plan is to make them no-dig, or at least minimal dig. This should make it easier to keep tidy, but I am worried about missing out on the exercise.
I also managed to get round to some rather overdue jobs. My garlic and shallots finally went in today. There wasn’t enough time to cover them with netting, so fingers crossed that the birds won’t pull out too many of the cloves. You can’t really see the garlic in the picture, so hopefully the birds won’t either! I also potted up some (sprouted) tulip bulbs that will eventually go in the ground, once their raised bed is ready.
As a welcome surprise, my New Zealand yams don’t seem to have totally succumbed to the frost, though admittedly it is hard to tell from this picture. At least they have not been blackened by the frost. For anyone unfamiliar with these, they have nothing to do with yams and are more like lemony potatoes, although they aren’t that closely related to potatoes either. They are lovely, but their two drawbacks are that they only start to form tubers after the autumn equinox and they are frost sensitive. Ideally you would want them to make it into December for the best yields. Maybe you can see a few green shamrock-like leaves still holding on, which hopefully means that they are not dead yet? That would be an excellent birthday gift indeed…
*I decided today that I need a third dalek-type composter, so Aunt Maxine’s gift will be used to purchase said dalek, which will be named in her honor!