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Bramham Blogs

Weekends Away

Lottie

We have just enjoyed a lovely long weekend away in London but oh boy will we have a busy week trying to catch up with the chores on the allotment now. It always amazes me how you can turn your back on the allotment for a couple of days at this time of the year and all of a sudden that list of jobs has doubled in size. I am certainly not complaining though as the wonderful mixture of sunshine and rain has brought everything on even though that also applies to the weeds and grass. I planted my first row of beetroot a couple of weeks ago and they are through now. Last year they never took at all so I’m really pleased. I plant my beetroot in succession now after the first year when I planted three rows and couldn’t possibly eat them all. They can be planted a row at a time throughout the summer which makes sure they remain young and sweet rather than old and woody. I think with the warm weather I’ll chance the parsnips this week. They seem, in my experience, to be the most temperamental of seeds to germinate. Some years I’ve had to re sow a couple of times before success and again last year failed altogether so cross fingers with the growing conditions being just about perfect at the moment it will work. My greenhouse is full to busting with seedlings now. The sweet peas will also go out this week. I followed a tip in gardeners world and pinched out the growing tips when the seedlings were about 10cm tall and it has meant each plant developing lots of side shoots so they are bushy and strong not tall and leggy. I also need to prick out my brussel sprouts and kale as they have developed their first set of true leaves, another job to do. Finally the main job from now on in is serious weeding. This time of the year is make or break for all aspiring allotment holders. Weeding is relentless and if it is not done regularly it is not long before they take over and those tender new plants become choked and your crop disappears. Those newbies who leave their allotments for a couple of weeks while they enjoy the sunshine themselves often return to a wilderness and never recover. Luckily I like weeding and find it very therapeutic, lost in my little world as I dig out all those tiny seedlings. I call it micro weeding and I know it is very sad but I just love to see my baby plants weed free and neat and tidy.