Early days yet

It’s hardly the finished article, but as you can see my masterpiece is slowly taking shape.

Several soggy weekends of hard graft and impressive blisters has led to, well, not exactly an Eden but something that’s starting to resemble an allotment.

I’ve got five beds dug now, and some of them even have stuff in them! On the far side of the plot, in the two long beds, you can just make out the sticks in the mud that are – will be – my blackberries and raspberries.

The squash are going to go in the long bed opposite them, and I’ve stuck some onions and carrots in the short bed in between the long ‘uns.

The digging has been ferociously hard work, with plenty of turf removal followed by the turning over of severly compacted soil. Not sure what the previous occupant was doing here, but if they used the plot for marching band practice I wouldn’t be surprised.

That and the rather heavy soil has meant having to dig in loads of compost to try and make it a slightly better habitat for my precious veggies.

Oh, and there’s another complication. As you can see at the top of the picture, there are a few bushes on the edge of the plot. What you can’t see – because I don’t have a wide angle lens – is just how big they are. The evergreens are about forty foot high, and this has a pretty disastrous effect on two counts.

Firstly, they’re busy sucking up every drop of water and goodness from my plot, and secondly when I was down there last weekend in the blazing sunshine between 1 and 3pm the whole of my plot was in the shade.

Disaster! The rest of the place was cooking and I was shivering in the shade in my little corner!

Now I’m an optimist, so I’m telling myself that it’s early in the year and the sun is still low in the sky. Assuming it does actually rise in the East then in the summer the sun shouldn’t sit behind the trees. And even if it does then I reckon most of the plot gets a few hours’ sun notwithstanding the trees.

Not ideal, but things should still grow and I’m hoping that the worst that happens is that my veggies are smaller and later than the rest of the allotments.  And anyway, there’s plenty of people on the waiting list and it’s got to be better than having nothing at all…

Time will tell.

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