January 2022 – Forever The Optimist

Updated: Apr 26

As any fan of football will know, my moniker “Allotment Addick” gives the game away as to which football club I support – Charlton Athletic. It’s not been a good season for us "Valley Faithful" Charlton supporters, flirting with relegation into the lowest echelon of The Football League (League 2) is not really a good start to 2022. However, I am always an optimist and as of Friday 14th January we were not that far off the play-offs either.

Proof that I am forever optimistic, I have just purchased packets of seeds from Marshalls Gardening Supplies and I am now looking forward to the coming spring when I can start sowing and planting out.

I have spent many hours (1 to be exact) researching and ordering the seeds that I intend to grow on Allotment 23. It was quite fun in its own way, especially when compared to some of the football I’ve watched this season!

While I was leafing through the catalogues, I daydreamed of warmer weather, the sun shining, picking summer fruits, digging new potatoes and harvesting those tasty vegetables.

Speaking of summer fruits, I purchased a second-hand fruit cage from my allotment neighbour who is giving up his plot after many years. Clearly, given the number of pigeons that live in my neck of the woods, I needed something to stop the birds from eating the produce before I could get to it. Therefore, this fruit cage was the perfect item to help in my quest to keep all the raspberries for myself. I just hope that storm whatever doesn’t carry it away along with my shed. I’m sure it won’t, forever the optimist.

I will be sowing my Geraniums in the next few weeks; I’m just waiting for the compost to thaw out as we seem to be experiencing a bit of a cold snap. Speaking of the climate, this strange seesaw weather we’re having is playing havoc with my broad beans, Aquadulce Claudia. If you remember, I am conducting an experiment with them. I have planted half straight in the ground at the end of October and the other half I planted in pots a month later, stored in the greenhouse. The beans in the ground are fine but those in the greenhouse are suffering. It is almost certainly due to the hard frost we experienced recently but I'm not entirely sure why the protected broad beans are in a worse state. The only theory I can come up with is that during the very mild spell, over the new year, it became very warm in the greenhouse and they put on a lot of new growth quite quickly. This was subsequently damaged by the hard frost that followed soon after. Hopefully, they’ll recover and I’ll be able to plant them out in spring.

Someone up at the allotments told me there are less than 8 weeks until spring. The days are getting longer, so let’s hope that the rest of the winter stays relatively benign. As for Charlton, well, it's only a game of football.

All that’s left is for me to wish you a happy and optimistic New Year.

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