This Year’s Challenge!

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Two – Planning Plot 17 January – April 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
This Year’s Challenge!
Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.

Allan Armitage

Plot 17 Layout Plan 2023 – 2024

Last week we had a lot of rainfall. I was only able to get down to the allotment on Monday. By Tuesday, the heavens had opened up, and they continued to drown the lands until Friday. Saturday, Suze and l were at the client’s garden for a couple of hours, and yesterday we managed to get back to Plot 17 for a few hours. We had a carload to drop off and the collection of some log barky bits from Gazen Salts to take down to the allotment for the building of the refugia.

Most weekends, we have a carload of assorted bits and bots and bags of all sorts for the allotment, be this garden and green waste, bokashi food bins, shredded paper and cardboard and always coffee grounds. Yesterday we also had a 200-litre water butt to drop off.

I found one on sale for fifty quid, and it will join the other five soon-to-be-sited down there. This means that somewhat ironically [given how much rain fell last week alone], we will have 1.2 cubic metres [1200 litres] of water storage with the 200 litre styled water storage butts and an additional 400 litres of water stores in our other units. That’s alright as water capacity goes.

While water is available on tap at the allotments, Suze and l prefer to use rainwater where we can as this is better for the vegetables. Of course, if we have another summer like last year, 1600 litres will not stretch far, possibly a month.

The alternative is to use the mains water indirectly there rather than directly applied. The answer is to allow it to sit for 24 – 48 hours, first to allow the present chlorine levels to dissipate. We could fill up the water butts we needed water in and let them settle overnight. But, rarely do we not experience rainfall during the spring and summer months.

Yesterday whilst there, we were involved in preparations for our work today. Suze will finish the fencing projects and then start the windbreaker jobs whilst l start the mammoth compost-turning tasks. Last week l could only turn the two-ton unit and not small triples – so whilst l am not specifically a week behind, l am. It’s easily caught up, but it can be tiring work.

I have noticed l am experiencing a lot more pain in recent weeks. My entire right side is causing me a lot of discomfort now – l have pain in my shoulder, and many will remember all too well my shoulder injury in 2018, well that never healed properly and causes me severe pain now especially given how much heavy work l am having to perform weekly now.

In addition to the shoulder, my right side is hurting at points – elbow, wrist, hip and knee. The injury in town last year caused me a significant issue with my hip. I should have sued Sandwich Town Council. They do need to repair the footpaths in town. I have an appointment with my doctor this Thursday where l can discuss the problems. One of the biggest issues with pain is that it tires you very quickly.

Gripes and groans aside, there is a lot to do this coming week – the pressure is on – including cutting the hedge that runs the length of the allotment on the suburbian side before the birds start nesting properly from later this month through to June. So we need to get our skates on. The slabbed area next to the shed needs to be repositioned to the front of the hut near the door, and that area there needs to be levelled. That’ll be hard on the body, for sure.

But once it’s done, it’ll be done. It’s a tall hedge, which means that either Suze or l must grapple with a ladder and make the necessary trimmings.

If we can get these tasks out of the way, we can commence the Polytunnel project, which will be challenging but needs to be up because, by mid-April, all of our seedlings will need to be down there.

This week also, we are starting the seed sowing.

Last time you saw the proposed layout plan, l am showing you the actual layout requirements for vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits this week. Because we opted not to sow seeds in February, but in March, it means we will have more seeds to plant. The bulk of those sowings starts this week.

We don’t have to plant ‘everything’ this week, but we do have to sow 50% of the proposed Feb and March seeds. Then we can stagger the other March seeds over the remaining periods of mid-March to the end of April.

I have ordered some slips, chits and plugs to make life a little easier for some of the sowings, and this means we will not have to fluff about with certain crops as they will arrive later and be ready to plant directly to the soils. However, that’s a tiny percentage, so we still have a fair amount to plant this week.

The most recent weather check informs me that we are not set to see as much heavy rainfall this coming week as we did last week, BUT things change these days quickly!

We shall see; l will catch up with you later this week with today’s progress, so for now, l’ll leave you with the challenge we have set ourselves growing-wise this year.

The above displays what we wish to grow over the next twelve months from all the main groups – vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit whilst below displays the sowing, planting and harvesting schedules.

If we manage to successfully plant out 50% of this, we will have done very well indeed. The hardest tasks will be sowing and weeding and keeping the lines clear of clutter.

Our target is to achieve 60% in year one of what is displayed above planting wise.
Orange is sowing, red is planting and green is harvesting – it all looks overwhelming to those not accustomed to growing vegetables in large quantities and l don’t deny that at first glance it can seem that way – however once we start the staggering processing, it’ll not be so damning.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. Till then, have yourselves a terrific day!

The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comfort Designs available on my Redbubble Store.

Collections – Earthen Wurmin, Inspired By Nature and The Autistic Composter

Please Pop Along and Check Them Out.

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

10 thoughts on “This Year’s Challenge!

  1. I’m sorry about the pain you’re experiencing Rory. I hope the appointment with the doctor is fruitful. These plans are so well detailed. I hope it all goes accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, l think the biggest issue is that because we are both physically active with the allotment and gardening and me also at Gazen Salts, whilst we are very busy this activity is not disciplined activity or exercise, so we need to get back into the habit of fitting in regular exercise and limbering up activity.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: