I wasn’t able to work on the plot as much as I’d hoped in 2022, so I’m determined to start off 2023 with plenty of allotmenteering!
Ignoring the long grass, the blackberry looks a lot smaller than it should be at this point – I’m guessing it wasn’t cut back properly the year before last (they fruit on last year’s growth), so I’m not sure how much fruit we’ll be likely to get. The plant itself looks nice and healthy though, so it should be fine for next year.
Moving on to the broad beans, and these are currently surrounded with fleece just as some protection against late frosts & cold Northerly winds. The plot is on a North-facing slope, so I can’t risk planting things out too soon, no matter how tempting that may be.
We have three Blackcurrant bushes on the plot. The larger of the two tend to fruit one after the other, which means we avoid a glut when it comes to harvesting them.
This is the second large Blackcurrant and as you can see, it’s a long way behind the previous one in terms of leaves. It should catch up though.
Heading up to the flower patch, and the fennel seems to have spread from where it was previously (it self-seeds, so every now and then we find fennel growing in unusual places). This patch still needs some more tidying, but this bit is mostly able to just be left alone for the flowers to grow. I did have a penstemon in there and some wildflowers, but I’m not too sure what is still there until the flowers form!
This gooseberry was a freebie from a fellow plotholder, and probably could do with some more attention than just weeding around it! But given the way it gets neglected, it produces a lot of fruit each year.
Next to the compost bins, we have Herb Jungle – named mainly because the herbs have taken over the entire patch, and decided how they want to spread out.
In this patch we have Rosemary, a couple of Lavenders, Sage, and at one point there was also Lemon Balm but I’m not sure if that’s still there or not – I need to tidy it up a little just to check that.
Down to the strawberries and raised beds now – this is the very creatively named “raised bed one”. Not all the strawberries survived the last couple of winters, but there’s still plenty in there along with some healthy-looking chives…. and some grass I still need to dig out. The soil level isn’t anywhere near the top of the raised bed – that’s a job for later in the year (or maybe another year) when I can move the plants without risking disturbing any flowers.
Raised bed two (I told you they were creatively named!) had the soil redone a year or two ago, as all the strawberries had died. As you can see, the strawberries are looking particularly good, so I’m hoping for a decent crop this year.
Raised bed three (you could’ve guessed that name, couldn’t you?) holds my fancy strawberries, including Snow White (assuming they survived the winter – they don’t seem all that hardy on my plot), Just Add Cream, and a F1 variety that I was sent instead of the Just Add Cream plants I’d actually ordered.
And this is the aptly named “half raised bed” – because it’s a metre long but only half a metre wide. This was originally planned to be the chive bed, but most of that is grass growing through the chives. The sage was planted to help fill the space, but I’m not sure it’s the best place for it – we’ll see what happens when it grows a bit more.
Down to the Jungle now, with the raspberries. I cleared as much of the grass as I could (I ran out of energy to complete it), and there’s two bags of manure put around the raspberry plants to try and give them some much-needed feed. I do need to get back to finish the grass removal though – or at least keep it cut down so the raspberry plants have a chance to grow.
The rhubarb is another free plant, left by the previous plotholders. I’ve hardly done anything to it other than picking the rhubarb, so it amazes me how well it grows each year. I just need to get on cut the flowers off!
Not the flower section, but I think these two might be Teasels – certainly they collect the water in their leaves in the same way.
And finally, a rogue Ash tree sapling that decided to grow in the middle of Rhubarb Row! This one’s been dug up (I’m not allowed to grow trees on the plot) in the hope of being moved to a more suitable location.