Visited the Allotment today, just for a little while, to see what progress, if any, had been made since our last visit.
Nothing much (including weeds - yay!!) apart from the rhubarb which has put on an almighty growth spurt and is now a good 7 or 8 inches tall, with leaves the size of - well, not quite dinner - but tea plates.
We bumped into our allotment neighbour Cath, and chatted for a while about the dilemma of whether to consider that the instructions on seed packets to sow in April, really meant that (for us in our more northern climes) or whether it would be more prudent to wait.
Monty Don in this week's Gardners World says to wait until the soil feels warm, but Carol Klein says that you can sow when the weeds are germinating. Given that the soil here doesn't really start to feel warm until July, I think I'll go with Carol's advice and go with when the weeds start making an appearance - but then - what weeds? Chickweed seems to grow all year round, couch grass grows from bird seed that the little beggars throw away, speedwell has been spreading like mad (it's a beautiful flower), so which weed??
Just to be safe, I think I'll wait another couple of weeks. It's no big deal: last year when we first acquired the allotment, we didn't plant until May, and that turned out well. Hmmm, maybe having the allotment is an easy deal after all - can't plant before May so may as well relax and not panic about getting everything ready...
Back in the garden, there are potato shoots coming up already in one of the potato bags: Anya. Very exciting!
The onions in tray seed tray have really grown to ridiculous levels so they really have to go in the ground soon. I've put them on the patio to harden off. The butternut squash has burst out of its pot so I repotted it in one of those tall pots that clematis come in, and put it in the greenhouse to start hardening off. Tomorrow I think I'll need to transplant the chard seedlings and the basil ones too.
PVFS-wise the last couple of days have been a bust. Definitely a case if two steps back. I did try and sleep yesterday afternoon, but ended up being "Poppied". Poppy, or "Tubs" as she is known due to her pudding-ness, loves, just loves, climbing on me when I'm in bed. She clambers on me, purring like an engine, and settles to sleep, snoring comfortably. Even when I lie omy side she's un-deterred, her ascent is a bit more precarious, but she usually finds her balance point and hangs on, purring, her tail thumping into my face (she can never quite master the art of climbing on me so that she faces me...) If she can't lie ON me, she'll lie as much on me as she can, and if she can't get close enough, she simply sits and wails... It doesn't make for a relaxing nap, but I'm a big softy and never have the heart to turn her out.
The hen coop needs a bit of attention, or, to be more specific, the timer that closes the door automatically. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing, but it's been a bit flakey recently, and last night, for whatever reason, the timer stopped at 8.30 and didn't move on, which meant that the door didn't descend. Fortunately I checked it, and adjusted the timer manually, but it's a bit concerning. It's even more concerning since I woke up through the night and looked out of the window, to see a fox trotting by the garden. It seemed totally unconcerned that there were hens living within a few feet of it (which is reassuring) but there is a healthy fox population and it just takes a really smart one...