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Is it good for the gardener?


If there’s one thing that we Brits love to complain about then it’s the weather.

The misconception that the Eskimo (or should that be Innuit?) have hundreds of words for snow has nothing on the amount of words and descriptions that we have for rain. Go on try it yourself and see how many you can come up with (spitting, peeing down, drizzle, mizzle, showers, sleeting down, sheeting down, nice weather for ducks, raining cats and dogs, etc.). There’s lots more too (but please don’t send them to me). It may well be good for the garden (that’s another one) but it’s not good for the gardener. The frustration you feel as the rain comes down and you know you can’t get to the plot is not good. The rain does make you feel like you are trying to catch up with the things that you want to get done.

Anyway, after the jubilation of Monday and Tuesday it’s been very wet up here, although it could have been worse. So this morning when I woke it up was surprisingly sunny! With the optimism of the weekend in my soul I took the lettuce that I wanted to plant to the allotment and my gardening boots, and then took my car for a brake/tyre service. It’s only a 15 minute walk to the allotment, and so by 9 o’clock I was at the allotment and the sky was clouding over.

The soil was still very wet, so I decided that I was going to walk on it as little as possible. So the order of the day was to cut the edges of the paths on the plot and take out the dandelions and thistles. The person on the plot next to me is an elderly chap who is only partially sighted and has asked if I could keep the path down near his plot, so I do. I’ve never had a problem with that and am glad to do so.

Whilst doing the cutting I weeded the strawberry bed and the fruit bushes and all around the edge of the plot. So it was down onto the knees with the hand shears, a garden fork and my gardening knife. It took about 3 hours to do all of it and in that time we had sunshine, bucketing rain (and another one), spits and spots (I will stop now) and all sorts in between. The good thing about weeding is that you get to see all the things that have changed and the details that you don’t see when you are standing up.

The gooseberries are doing nicely and setting well and the fruit is coming along nicely.

So while weeding my strawberry plants I found that there are quite a few strawberries coming through, okay they are green but there are lots of them.

And amongst the strawberries I found a spider… I believe it’s an orb spider but I’ve never seen one of these before. the body was about half an inch long, and from end to end it was nearly 3 inches, and stayed around while I prodded at it.

There was a lot of spinach ready, so I picked a lot to take home.

It was sunny and dry enough that I did manage to get on to the plot towards 3 o’clock and plant some more leeks (about 50) and a dozen or so of both cos and iceberg lettuce.

I did manage to save the best job till last of all. On a previous visit to the allotment I noticed that the waterbutt was not looking good. There was foam and froth on the top, very much like the crust you get when brewing beer. I have no idea what caused it but it definitely wasn’t usable. As far as I can see it the only way to solve it is to empty the (full) butt and then scrub the thing down and rinse it out. It stank. And to make matters worse the butt is too big to just scrub standing up. I have to lay it down and crawl inside it. Lovely.

Well at least it was done and hopefully I’ve now got a waterbutt that I can use again, and if we have the promised rain in the next few days then we’ll soon see. I’m going to put a rolled up ball of stockings at the top to stop leaves and bits going in to the water. I will ask mrs MK first before raiding her stockings.

So the plot is now looking a lot better. There’s lots of stuff in, lots of things growing, the promise of a lot of nice food to come and hopefully lots of jam.

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busy busy busy!! Worth it for gooseberry jam and the rest!

16 May, 2009


You definitely missed out some descriptons of our rain but you are right not to continue,you have been busy again and I have a funny picture in my mind of a chappie hanging upside down in the waterbutt,shouldn,t laugh really but you put it there,lol Thanks for the tip about the stockings I get leaves in mine and never thought about putting a piece of netting on the lid........

16 May, 2009


Very odd weather here today after 3 days of rain, rain, rain! Pouring down one minute and sun beaming the next. I managed to get a little done in the garden, but not as much as you did!

I certainly didn't crawl into my water butt... I'll leave that to you.

16 May, 2009


Hee Hee i too have a mental picture of a man in a butt!!
you have been busy even though the rain came down in sheets! (oh you've used that one!)

17 May, 2009


Stair rods is the one you meant really sk!!! teehee!!

I've been thinking about how I can put some tights/stockings on the water butt. Not sure how I'm gonna do it tho'. Hubby hasn't put the water butt in yet, so I've a chance to put it in place before the water rolls in. (assuming we have any rain, the weather has been glorious recently!)

The idea of charcoal is brilliant, will try that one. One gardener wrote in his book that he keeps a few goldfish in his.........

1 Jun, 2009

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