Diary: Oh, to be in May

Saturday – 15 October 2016

Now autumn has arrived I find I spend more time checking the weather forecasts. The light disappears not long after the work day and so the opportunity to make a visit to the allotment throughout the week has diminished. My weather watching is now in hope of a dry weekend and the opportunity to spend some significant time at the allotment.

Saturday morning provided that opportunity. The forecast was for a wet afternoon and so significant or not, I was determined to spend some time at the plot.

I looked over some photos of the allotment taken in May. The plot had taken on good shape with the work I had put in over the wet winter months and I was proud of the achievement. Having a plan and sticking to it one step at a time really paid off.

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The allotment – May 2016

If you have read my post Yea, I shall return with the tide, you will know the summer came with some personal setback. I spent some well needed time reflecting on my personal needs and coming to terms with the loss of my mam. It had finally caught up with me.

Although a lot of that time was spent at the allotment, it was more a personal retreat. And though I made progress, it was purposely slow and steady.

A few beds constructed, a harvest of onions, garlic, potatoes and strawberries. A late but successful crop of beetroot.

I have been impressed with the first year growth on the two Rhubarb plants and the Blueberries. Nothing to harvest this year but both have performed well. The blueberries look wonderful in their autumn clothes.


Getting married was a joyful event in September and following the honeymoon I was ready to dig deep at the allotment again and return to the blog.

The weeds have grown but then they always will. The structure of the beds and paths put in place earlier in the year will make the task of getting back on track for a new season much easier than last year.

I began that process. Some beds have been weeded and dug and I have topped up the paths with more woodchips. After just a few days of activity at the allotment, it’s beginning to take shape again and this is exciting.

I planted out our new season garlic. As the allotment garden starts to go to sleep, there is something special having the opportunity to get the hands dirty and put something into the soil and look forward to a new season.

Read my article: Why you should plant garlic this autumn

My plan is to continue to clear the existing beds of their weeds and to lay more woodchips to top up the paths. I know it will soon be back as it was at the end of May and then I will spend time through the final stages of the autumn and through the winter building more beds and more paths on the half of the plot that has so far been uncultivated.

It’s exciting knowing I have do much more of the plot yet to establish. So much more growing space. So much more opportunity to grow a wide variety of fruit and veg.

Allotment gardening isn’t a race. It’s a patient advancement. It’s about planning and thinking. Taking each step in turn to how the garden is to look. Most importantly, it’s about enjoying each progression and the fruits (& veg) of your labour along the way.

The difference in how I feel about the next few months is significantly different to how I felt last year. There is the excitement of potential. The hopes and dreams all gardeners hold… of what can be.

How is your allotment or kitchen gardening coming along? I’d love to hear from you. I’m always grateful for any advice, tips and guidance. Drop me a comment below or connect with me on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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5 thoughts on “Diary: Oh, to be in May

  1. You want to be back in May? With all the clearing. digging, planting, worry about what the summer weather would be like, bills you’ve already paid becoming unpaid again……… Now the weeds are growing more slowly, you’re harvesting the benefits of your clearing, digging (etc. you know what I mean). You have the joys of the new seed catalogues shooting through the letterbox from every company you’ve ever bought a paper clip from?

    Then I started reading beyond the title and now realise I’ve wasted the last paragraph. But there’s not enough daylight to hold down that delete key for long enough. Isn’t it great to look back and bask in the glory of your achievements. And then look forward to the over-winter digging in the cold and the wet? Don’t forget the cold in the allotment shed will keep a 4-pack nicely chilled.

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    1. Ha ha John you have made me smile! Absolutely right. Yes felt like I stepped a few steps backwards over the summer but I must admit its already a lot easier than it was this time last year! Making good ground already. I love Autumn and winter on the allotment. There is something very comforting and enjoyable digging on a cold crisp day. Just in ones own thoughts. Seeds catalogues in a nice pile next to my armchair. Oh the plans already forming! And yes, I must pop a few beers in storage for that sitting back thinking time I always believe a most important time whilst on one’s plot!

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  2. We felt like we failed miserably on our allotment this year (our second year of growing), but actually we learned a lot of lessons! We are nearly back to square one now and will be putting in lots of work over winter to try and avoid some of the pitfalls suffered this year. You’re right about it not being a race and it’s wonderful that you’re feeling excited about it all again.

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    1. Hi claire. Great to hear from you.
      I think you are right. It would have been easy to look negatively at the situation and perhaps give up. Then I realised the achievement of cultivation the previous winter and knew what to do. I always have a plan. A large scale one broken down into small actions that I take with me to the plot each visit. By breaking it down and doing that action it really moves the development of the allotment forward surprisingly quickly. I have nearly got the plot looking how it did lady spring. Next month I should be on track to getting through the uncultivated part of the plot and creating more beds.

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