November – no end to allotment tasks!

I don’t quite understand why, when everybody else seems to be winding down, and Soilman has even gone into hibernation, I seem to be getting busier!

Partly it’s because the days are so short now, that I’m lucky to get half an hour of gloom on the allotment when I’ve finished my ‘real’ work, so everything seems to take forever to get done, and partly it’s because a new allotment, particularly one that’s been neglected, just has so much that needs to be done.

So far we’ve:

1. sort of sorted the shed – more to be done in Spring, but it’s at least watertight now
2. begun to restore the cold frame – or at least, Tony has, while I just make admiring noises
3. cleared about a tenth of the runners, slugs, bindweed and thistles from the strawberry bed – that’s my job, and horrible, fiddly, backbreaking work it is too
4. started to clear the brick path – very satisfying, especially as it means less risk of slipping on something slimy and end up on your a**e!
5. laid some shuttering to make new paths – again, very satisfying, it gives the allotment a sense of structure.

What we haven’t begun on yet is:

1. mending dodgy fence posts
2. laying a new hardstanding
3. cutting back the holly tree
4. moving the compost bins
5. refixing the entire far end fence which is now leaning against the rest of the fence, looking pathetic
6. any planting
7. any digging.

If we had brassicas this year then this is also what I’d be doing:

1. keeping my Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli and kale tidy and weed-free, and staking the outer Brussels against wind damage
2. sowing broad beans is something I’ve already done on Duncan’s allotment, although how many will come up, given that we appear to have mice, is anybody’s guess.

I wonder if things will slow down in December ...?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Do mice eat the vegetable seeds?

November 27, 2008 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

A question that doesn't relate to your current post again, sorry.

Last summer I had a great herb garden going of three types of parsley (the 'normal' one, French and Italian), sage, coriander. The sage and coriander died through the winter, but the parsley (all three) survived. However, they have all started seeding through Spring. I originally thought if I just kept pulling off the seed heads that would stop them and they would return to 'normal' plants, however, for every seed head I cut, more replace it. Plus the inner stalks are now starting to get quite thick and woody.

So, herbs: are you just supposed to grow all of them for the one year, pick for cooking what survives through the winter then take everything out in Spring, and plant all over again?

(Hope there's less typos in this post than were in my last one.)

November 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

They will just keep getting woodier I'm afraid. Parsley is a biennial herb, this means it will flower and produce seeds in its second year of growth, so you’ll only need to replace it every two years - but in that second year it won't revert to normality if you remove the seeding heads, it''ll just keep trying to produce them.

Some herbs are perennial: rosemary, bay, some of the thymes, but most are either annual or biennial - that's why it's good to save seed from previous years for the next crop.

And yes, mice eat vegetable seeds with great pleasure!

November 30, 2008 at 7:57 AM  

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