Well after my last blog when I thought we might be away with the new season and then snow hit and all the allotment holders went back into hibernation we have actually managed to have what I would call a proper day up at the allotment today and that includes alfresco lunch and a flask of tea. Can’t beat it but boy does my back know it now! Although it was very windy today it was incredibly warm and that meant we could finally plant some of the early starters. I got my potatoes in which had been chitting away slowly on the windowsill at home. They all had lovely new green shoots and I tucked them in carefully with well rotted manure mixed in with the soil and asked each one to do their best as I covered them over. We will need to be careful once the new shoots show above the ground to cover them if frost is forecast but they should get away okay now. The other thing I managed to plant was my broad beans, each year I try a new method for staking them up as they do get quite leggy and any wind knocks them straight over. This years technique is to plant a bean against an individual stake and I will tie them in as they grow. I have a feeling I will regret this later as I planted 40 beans and will get fed up I am sure of tying each one in. I will probably end up just working string around the canes so I create a mesh for the beans to grow through, we shall see. The onions that I planted last time in the greenhouse are doing really well and I will be able to get them out next week. My sweet peas have also just start to show through the top of their pots. It is so exciting having a look every day and finally seeing a tiny bit of green on the surface of the soil.
Unfortunately this week we have had a bit of an upset with the chickens and Red has gone to the chicken coop in the sky. She started looking very sad early this week and I took her to the vets on Thursday to be put down. I’m afraid I can’t bear the thought of the DIY method favoured by hardy allotment holders as I always worry that it might go wrong and they will suffer so am happy to pay the vet to make the process easier for me. Scabbers has also been under the weather with a tummy upset and so I have been administering antibiotics and TLC this week, today she came out with the others for a roam about and although had to have a few rests looked like she was definitely on the mend. All the others are looking fantastic and we are getting eggs from all of them on a regular basis. I’m even managing to give them away to family and friends again, frittata is also back on the menu!