2005, What’s this allotmenting all about then

What’s this allotmenting all about then

The strands of change that came together and resulted in me getting an allotment were:

– giving up smoking, therefore the increasing the risk of putting on weight and therefore I needed to find another physical activity preferably outdoor

– taking up the GI Diet, Glycaemic Index, and finding out that there are a lot of beautiful vegetables out there, possibly because my taste buds are working better after non-smoking for six months

– moving to a house with a smaller garden, without the opportunity of growing any vegetables at all

– working from home and therefore having a need for a change of environment (and getting out of the house, getting out from underneath my wife’s feet)

So looking back over the last nine months, how has my attitude to changed, mellowed, matured, ripened, developed?

At first I was appalled at the amount of digging that would be needed to get it under control and then to keep it under control. But as it was early August 2005 the first job was to clear an area and get something growing.

We chose Dwarf French Beans and for fun we planted some two Courgettes for some immediate crops and also planted over-wintering onions, garlic and lettuce. I had heard the phrase ‘Raised Beds’ and we both thought this would be a great idea. Simultaneously I discovered permeable membrane so as each bed was dug I covered it with the membrane until we wanted to use it.

I acquired compost, manure, ripe manure randomly over the year and applied as I could whenever I ha dthe opportunity.

Suddenly I was confident that I could control it.

This meant that I had more time to think about sub-plots and ideas. I had painted the South-facing wall of the shed but now I put in a Victorian Hot Bed in front of it. Got that done and I had time to think out and get a polythene greenhouse and embed it into the ground.

As it was ‘off-plan’ I was able to build two permanent beds 3.5m long into it and I set these up as Hot Beds as well. For this summer we’re using it to extend the cropping season for tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers.

So we are ‘live’

Crop failures are a fault of:

– the weather
– the soil temperature or the air temperature
– the wind speed
– the chemistry in the ground
– the labelling on the packet
– the friability of the soil
– the appetites of the other living creatures who need to be fed
– my incompetence, standing on the plant, ripping it out because I thought it was a weed
– bad luck
– humidity and precipitation
– germination rates
– planting the seeds or bulbs upside down
– foxes
– snails

SUCCESS on the other hand is solely due to my brilliance as a gardener, a likely story!!

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