Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Spuds Are Go!

The weather's perked up again and time is relentlessly moving on, flowers are bursting open and birds are shouting from every decent vantage point. If you're not a gardener or veg grower you may not be aware but March and April are quite possibly the busiest months of the year.

I've been popping down to the allotment 2 or 3 times a week for a couple of hours at a time mainly just to do weeding and clear the ground in preparation for The Seedlings That Are To Come. I'm going with the same system I used last year which is to sow seeds in little pots and keep them cosseted and fussed over in the plastic-house at the end of my garden. When they're big enough they'll get transferred to their final places in the allotment. This method ensures I know what is vegetable seedling and what is weed.

What I am doing slightly differently this year is using the inner cardboard tube from finished loo rolls as much as possible rather than little plastic pots. This has involved me demanding increased ejection of bodily waste so that I get enough tubes for my purposes. The Husband is being remarkably tolerant of my cries of "poo more frequently!" since, as he retorts, the only possible retort to that is, "well, feed me more then", he retorted. And he's never been one to turn down an extra helping of tuck. As he says, he's just one man, trying to do his bit for the planet.

My first early spuds have been quietly chitting away in the downstairs loo (that's 'chitting', never mind). Gardening lore states that your spuds should go into the ground at Easter but it truly hadn't dawned on me until I read it on the allotments forum I frequent that Easter is a moveable feast so last year the spuds went into the ground at the endish of April because that's when Easter was last year. This year it falls on the weekend from 10 to 13 April which is the weekend after next, so, really, spuds should go in any time now.

As this is the single hardest job on the allotment, I asked The Husband if he would come along and help me dig two long trenches across the width of the plot for sticking the spuds into. If I'd done this myself it would have probably taken a good couple of hours spread over two days to do it but, with his help, we dug the trenches and bunged in the spuds in half the time! Yay!

So that was all that got done today but, fear not, things are coming along apace in the plastic-house. Regard the leeks and sprouts seedlings in their new loo roll homes.

And as I'm typing this I'm also watching live footage of the ridiculous protests in London against the G20 summit. I truly can't abide these people - while there may be a small kernel of folks for whom a protest like this is meaningful and who want to make a statement about climate change or Palestine or CND or whatever, for all the others it's just an excuse for causing trouble. And now they're starting fires outside the Bank of England - well, that's going to do wonders for their carbon footprints isn't it? I can't help wondering how many of the so-called Climate Change protestors actually walked to the venue, and how many took a car or a bus or a train or even a plane. When I see these tossers on the box I really can't help being reminded of Rik Mayall's portrayal of 'radical student' Richey Rich in the Young Ones - middle class kids trying to be 'hard 'n' street 'n' cool'. I really don't think smashing the windows of a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland while being egged on by the paparazzi is really going to help many polar bears now, is it? At least I'm trying to grow my own food - what are they doing? /rant mode off/


  1. Hi Mrs Jones

    My name is Rik nad have found your blog in my quest to find myself somewhere to grow some fruit and veg in Farncombe.

    I was wondering if i could ask for some advice, you obviously have a passion for growing produce so i thought i would be cheeky and ask.

    I have my name down on the local allotments, however i dont think i am ready for a whole plot but i am willing to have a go. Do you know of any other local grow your own scheme there may be locally, or anyone who wouldn't mind letting me share some soil?

    Thanks for your help!

    Please feel free to email me back,



  2. I love it - poo more frequently and feed me more! Great writings!! One tip for planting potatoes without all the hard work of trench digging - use a bulb planter - 100% success rate for me last year which is why I haven't dug any trenches this year. Great idea to seed everything first and then plant out re: weed identification - I do that with all but carrots and Parsnips. My major mistake so far is that I thought I had one lot of maincrops to go in so left enough space - now I have 2 lots (silly me I didn't look in the bath) so going to try growing some in old composting bags! that will also save digging a trench!
    Happy Easter.


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