Allotment weather – gale force crops!

The recent extreme weather has wreaked some havoc on plot #103. To be honest, I think we had got a little complacent: after plot #201 with its more exposed position and little shielding from sun, wind and rain, we’ve taken the calm sheltered location of #103 for granted.

No longer.

After the storm, we ploughed through the mud to the plot and discovered that every one of our Redbor kale had decided to take a little lie down! Every one of them was salvageable, as long as they got a swift staking into their formerly upright position … the only problem was, the storm might be over but the rain wasn’t.

By the time we’d staked all but three, we were coated in mud from ankle to knee and from finger to elbow. It was also starting to get dark and my hair was so plastered to my face that I was staring at a rapidly fading world through a pattern of soggy black stripes. OH had taken off and lost his gloves so his hands, what I could see of them, were rapidly taking on the colour of a recently boiled lobster. In all, we were unlovely to look at, unhappy with ourselves and unable to continue staking kale for fear of impaling each other’s feet or hammering each other’s hands.

Today I went back up to the plot and it’s not as bad as it looked last night. The still reclining kale looked quite relaxed and I managed to stake two of them, plus the nicotiana, re-clip the golden raspberries to their canes, and harvest this little haul to take home, without succumbing to the gloom of autumn again.

But the lesson is learned. Next year our taller kale plants get staked from the day they are planted out. The raspberries will be moved to their new home in February, so they will be protected by the frame OH is building for them this month (currently known as The Annex, it will fit on the end of the summer raspberry bed and may be renamed once it’s in place) and we will continue our endeavours to thicken up the base of the straggly hedge that fronts plot #103, so that it can provide an effective windbreak through the winters ahead.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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