Bad weather has meant we have made little progress in July. We've had the odd nice day, and managed to get down and do some weeding, but in general the allotment is staring to look a bit wild around the edges.
The blasted pigeons continue to decimate the sprouts- I think the chances of having any sprouts for Christmas is slim. We have just one pumpkin growing- so unless the other pumpkin plants buck up a bit and get on with setting flowers, it looks like we are going to have to fight over it. Currently it is about the size of a grapefruit, and is a nice dark green colour. Onions continue to thrive, and the sweetcorn is now about four foot high and at least one of them looks like it will soon produce a corn! I dug up the last of the potatoes today, and they are very nice but the tubers are a bit firm and need some cooking- next year I might try a better known variety- King Edwards or something like that. Rhubarb, raspberries and beetroot continue to put on a fairly uninspiring show.
One of the surprise star performers is the mint. It's a surprise because I never planted any- at lest ten foot square of the allotment is covered in a dense mat of mint, which thrives in the environment- no doubt it is the left overs from some previous tenants herb garden. People say that mint is a bugger to get rid of, but I haven't even tried yet. Its very pleasant when crushed under my wellies in the evening, as it releases an aromatic scent. It allows keeps any other weeds under controls, so I am going to leave it in peace. At least until I need that area for my own bed. I have pulled up a massive bunch and I am going to make some mint sauce today. I'll let you know how it goes.
We bought a black plastic compost bin with a screw top from the council. It is big and cylindrical, and has been christened the Darlek. I got Charlie and Corinne to carry it down to the allotment. They got some funny looks of passers by but just smiled and waved as if it were an everyday occurrence. We don't need another compost bin, as I have already built two out of pallets, but its is a useful tool store, protecting our spades and forks from the elements.
The only other progress we have made is in the paths- which were overgrown and scruffy looking. I have been digging out the paths, weeds, grass and all, and the lining the pit with black membrane (hand-me-down form my father-in-law, not bought- right on Mr Flowerdew!) then lots of where barrows full of bark chip supplied free of charge to the allotment by the council, who are only to happy to get rid of their shredded hedgerows and bushes. Charlie had been helping me in the endeavor, and although progress is much slower than I would have liked dire to the ground still being completely sodded (and this is august!) it is beginning to look quite nice.