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Waiting For The New Season.

Spring Is Coming.

As it was pointed out to me we havenít actually started the new season, our 3rd, because we didnít get onto our plots the first year until May. However, I have just taken possession of a new plot, my third, so it seems fitting that this should be the first diary article of the 3rd year. 
My plot is perhaps the worst of the neglected plots on the site as it is full nettles that have grown very well especially at one end where a load of manure was dumped on the plot back in the Summer. If you tried to grow sturdier nettles I donít think you could! Instead of being isolated little clumps of nettles, some of the tangled root masses are 2 or 3 feet across with roots as thick as your fingers! Just to make the patch a little more difficult to dig the lads who had it beforehand had made cobble stone paths across the end where the nettles are.

On my other two plots I had fortunately got most of my maintenance jobs done before the bad weather and the occasional snows came a few weeks ago. All of the plant-pots of Hazels, Blackthorns, etc that had been plunged in the ground in a small area of my allotment over Winter, have now been removed and the remainder of my compost heap has been dug into that particular patch.

My Courgettes that were planted over a hole that had been filled with compost, did well last year, whereas my Squashes that had been planted on the traditional mound of compost didnít. Consequently, I have dug and filled two trenches with compost this time for both plants and we will see if they both do equally well. 

The Figs plants that had been brought from home because of a lack of space in the Greenhouse, have spent the Winter under a large fleece covered cloche which has keep the worst of the weather off them. Normally I cover all the smaller Fig trees in the garden at home as well, but this time only the variegated one had a fleece blanket. A week or two after the Figs are removed from the cloche and returned home I will plant the cloche up with the Oca to give them, an early start.

My first batch of leeks have all been up dug up and the patch has had some compost dug into it, but I still have another batch of Leeks growing on that should be ready in a few weeks, if they donít go to seed.

Life is starting to re-appear on some of my perennials including the Monarda that completely died off, but the ground is now full of tiny young shoots just peeping through. The Welsh Onions had also looked dead for weeks, but are shooting well and making nice little clumps already. The ordinary and Elephant Garlic are also coming through nicely. The second batch of Broad Beans that had been started in a greenhouse have caught the others up and now been planted. One thing that was a total failure was my early Cauliflower seedlings that were also started off in the warm house as they got too leggy and just collapsed. Garden Centres are now starting to fill up with young vegetable plants for sale, but I have not been tempted to cheat and have instead re-sown the Cauliís in trays in the cooler Green House. My 2 Angelica seedlings are shooting nicely, although I thought I had lost them as there was little sign of them over Winter. The Rhubarb that I brutally divided are shooting well, or at least 7 out of 8 are. Life is showing signs of returning on my Currant bushes as well with the buds swelling. As soon as they leaf up and I can see where new growth is coming from I will prune the young ones that have single stems to make them bush. Even some of the many of the hardwood cuttings that went in, in late Autumn are budding up and starting to sprout. It may still be very cold and seem like Winter, but the plants are waking up and think Spring and the new growing season is coming.


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