December 2021

This week I had to tie my shed down again in order to prepare for storm Barra. The wind wasn’t as strong as I was expecting but the heavy rain was a surprise. The shed was more at risk from being washed away than it was from being blown over. I will leave it tied down as I suspect there will be plenty more storms coming our way during this winter and into spring.

December is that time of year when very little grows (except the weeds!). The only plants left on the allotment now are some slug eaten spinach, chard and very small sprouts. I have had one harvest from the sprouts and, rather like the garlic earlier in the summer, what they lack in size, they certainly make up for in taste. I hope they weren’t washed away by all the rain because I’m looking forward to having more of them for dinner, even if I’ve seen larger peas.

My potatoes are due for delivery this month and I am frantically saving egg boxes in which to chit them. I am really looking forward to digging up potatoes again and, a first for me, I thought I would try growing onions next year as well. I found an online site that was giving 20% off. This just about covered the delivery charge, so I ordered shallots and red onions. The shallots will certainly keep me busy because there are 75 in a bag. Delivery is due in March.

I try to visit the allotment nearly every day during the winter months. I am still picking spinach leaves and chard for the pot but I’m getting a smaller and smaller harvest. They aren’t growing very much at this time of year (obviously) and I am competing with the local slug and snail population. The little devils are doing very well on my spinach leaves as we seem to be inundated with them.

After Christmas, I will pop down to the local garden Centre and start buying the veg seeds for next year. Looking at last year’s diary, I had started sowing in February (view my allotment23 diary page), so I need to prepare seed trays by cleaning them, check that they’re in a good state of repair and I will need to purchase more compost. However, all of that can wait until January, so in the meantime, I will wrap my fingerless gloved hands around a hot mug of tea and put on another coat to keep warm. I can't possibly afford to turn on the central heating. It is far too expensive what with the price of a therm of gas being more than an ounce of gold. Can we put another piece of coal on the fire please Mr. Scrooge?

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