Friday, 6 November 2015

Plot transformation: 18 months in

I have had my current allotment for 18 months now.

It's strange to think back to the 100% weed covered mass of land I started off with:

...when in recent months, the plot has looked more like this:

And even in October, it was flowering like this:

And right now, the allotment looks in part like this:

So I need to catch myself in moments when I look around and feel like a few other people's plots are spotlessly, weed free and flowing with tidy perfection. I have come along using immense, backbreaking hard work. There have been times I have undertaken 4 or 5 hour straight sessions of weeding and clearing and planting. There may well be a strip of land at the entrance and front of the allotment plot that is once again completely covered in problematic grass and weeds... but things can't be perfect all at once and all the time, as any honest gardener truly appreciates. I will get there in time, and it is best to do it slowly and surely, and with the love and care I am giving than going the whole hog and overdoing it then having to give up from lack of strength!

This blog is going to track my progress in my little plot of paradise. I plan to fill the blog with planting updates, harvesting achievements, recipes, trials and triumphs, and adventures.

My First Turnip!

I was elated to discover my first grown turnip! Since seeds were planted in a shaded spot, 'neath a grove of tall, flowering mustard plants, I had forgotten that anything much was going on in that particular plot. In truth, for weeks, I had repeatedly mistaken raggedy leaves for weeds, and dug them up. I need to adjust to the look of turnip seedlings as they grow, as with the early shoots of radishes which are also easy to mistake for pesky weeds!

It was one of those magical feelings of gardening surprises when I wandered casually over to weed the above plot, and to discover... a glint of bright, ecstatic purple! I was elated to realise that several turnips had earthed themselves just above ground, as if to let me know they were about ready! It was one of those moments where I gasped in a kind of blissful astonishment...Look!

It felt like a real champion cup occasion, and it really made my day.

It may be that I've never been one to eat turnips, but now is the time, and all the others are looking pretty chirpy so bring them on!

In amongst the late growing nasturtium, they are growing next to a couple of rows of onions very contentedly:

I think turnips must be very easy to grow, what with my forgetfulness, and a little neglect. I did replant the other turnips that had emerged above ground level, though. All were planted at the end of July, and I recommend them in soil that follows the growing of squash, which is what I did, as they seem in their ideal element. Turnip recipes to follow, I'm sure.