Friday, May 19, 2006

Going the extra mile......

A bit of a dilemma this morning as to whether to go down to the plot, or not.

On the one hand I've come down with a cold and hacking 24/7 cough, and should really have stayed indoors out of the ridiculous wind. On the other hand, if it follows the same course of events as the last time I had a similar lurgy, I'll end up in bed for a week on antibiotics anyway, and stuff that needs planting out won't wait that long. So I went down for a couple of hours, barking all the way. I must admit I did think about Al still soldiering on at her plot with shingles of all things, and this helped put my malady into perpective. (Mind you, in my defence, I have got a "Man Cold" which as we all know is far more serious than the female variety.)

Was aghast to see the amount of weed seedlings that have sprung up in the last few days, and spent a good while hoeing the whole plot. I couldn't be bothered to scrabble about and pick them all up though, so when it rains again I expect 5o% of them will re-root. Still, it looks better now.

Dennis next door to me had dropped off the sweetcorn plants he aquired from his brother, and promised me in return for some seed potatoes I got for him from someone else. (...are you following?) So I planted them out, and then decided I could do with a few more, so planted some seed myself in the cold frame. I've failed miserably to germinate any sweetcorn before, hence my reliance on imported stock, but you never know, maybe third time lucky.

After this I planted out the runner beans, into the teeth of a gale, and tied them losely to the canes with some bass in hopes that they will withstand the blow. Not ideal weather, but they have grown on so quickly and really needed to come out of the cold frame before they got too intertwined with each other. I expect they'll be OK.

Next I planted out 2 courgettes, and 2 F1 hybrid pumpkins. These are a smaller more practical variety than the Atlantic Giant I put out last week, and about which I am now having some serious misgivings. The seed packet made no mention about any special spacings, but from Howard Dill's own website I notice they say plants should be at least 16-20 feet apart! His pictures show massive, all conquering, leaf runs that would swamp half my entire plot. Am hoping I will be able to chop them back to a manageable size with too seriously harming their fruiting abilities.

Final jobs were to scatter some slug bait, pull a few sticks of rhubarb, and gather some more radishes from the salad bar.

Peter on the plot to my other side was there, and expressed some concern about my hacking and barking noises, reprimanding me for being out in the cold. If I don't feel like going back down for a few days he's kindly promised to water anything that's still under glass for me, so that's something at least.

Now for the sofa, duvet, and hot toddies.


Blogger lilymarlene said...

Hole up at home in this nasty weather, look after yourself, and get well soon!

9:03 pm  
Blogger Allotment Lady said...

A male cold - dear - are you sure that it is not male flu. Do get better soon. How nice that you do not have the worry when you have a nice plotholder neighbour to water your plants - water up your allotment - lucky you.

I stick my sweetcorn seeds directly into the ground - once the soil has warmed up.

Yes you can hack away at your pumpkin leaves. In fact just leave enought flowers/fruits on it that you want, and cut off the rest. Be sure to leave enough leaves around the plant though as the put feelers into the compost to suck up the moisture.

The allotment looks great and your soil magnificent not a stone in sight - which mine was like that - but I do get very intertesting parnsip shapes and carrot shapes - there is a funny one on my site way back in the archives I will have to look it up - it might cheer you up.

Hope you have got a stock of Vick in to rub on your chest - keep warm - and kick those germs into touch

Best wishes sicknote.

12:21 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Now where I come from, carrots and parsnips that have forked round stones would be called "Spronky Footed"...well they would by my dad at least.

12:45 pm  
Anonymous denise t...usa said...

well, when i felt the guilt of being a garden shirker, i think of the allotment lady too! this is why i put on my slicker and planted my sweetcorn seed in the drizzle the other day, even though i have a nasty cold virus thing too! and i planted up 4 large hanging baskets for the house as well...i thought about how determined lottie is with her shingles and all, and forced my sorry hiney into the garden.HA!

2:12 pm  
Anonymous Mildew said...

Ok, now I'm feeling very guilty for not braving the rain and not going down to the allot last weekend.

Man cold is one of the worst things any male can recieve. My Dave needs constant looking after and fluffing of pillows and copious amounts of hot Ribena when he's ill with it. Hang on...

get well soon

11:40 am  

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