So it's been exactly one week since I got my first allotment. The very nice site secretary (Mike) has rotavated it twice this week, so even if I now have twelve million teeny tiny evil bits of couch grass root, at least it looks like a plot, not a wilderness. Well, the two thirds of it that he's rotavated, anyway.
When I first went to look at plots I was going to take one that had been totally cleared (though I hadn't expected that any would have been cleared at all). However, when Mike showed me round a few more of them, I sort of fell for this one. As well as Cambridge's annual crop of crouch grass, it had an overgrown row of redcurrants, a plum tree, and nearly a shed, with brambles growing through the broken windows and out through the half a roof. So Mike has cleared the two-thirds up to the redcurrants, and the rest is down to me.
Over the course of the week I've managed to get up to the plot most evenings for an hour or two. I've cleared about half the brambles, but it turns out it was the easy half; I've still got about 6 sq m to go and I swear to God some of the tendrils lurking near the (now visible) motherlode are as thick as my wrist. On the upside I can see my nearly shed and have discovered some waterbutts, though I still can't reach them.
One of the strange things about the site I'm on is that there's never anyone there. At least not while I'm there. It's huge - 202 plots - yet I've never seen more than maybe ten people there at once. Maybe they're all crack of dawn people and are wondering whether I exist as I tend to turn up at 6.30 pm and make lots of mess. I have met a very nice chap called Keith who has given me a cucumber and 70 (70!) baby leek plants which I have done my best to plant out using what I think is a dibber (found in nearlyshed) having dug a bed (second hand spade for £8 from lottie store) and raked it over (rake found in nearlyshed). I raked over another bed, also 6 foot by 4 foot, and planted cress and rocket and stuff; I figure they're idiot proof, which they're going to need to be, as this particular idiot planned the bed under the shade of next door's apple tree. Neither of the plots either side of me are being cultivated, so I've scrumped some apples and taken them home with some of my endless harvest of blackberries and made a crumble.
This is an embarrassingly crude plan of my plot so far:
In my defence I did it in two minutes (oh, all right, ten minutes) while I was supposed to be writing about obscure Lebanese politicians.
Tonight's plan: If it stays sunny, I'll dig over another bed and get good and muddy. If it clouds over, I'll attack the evil brambles (moo ha haa!). Either way I probably ought to find out what to do with my spring onion seeds (I shouldn't be allowed near seed catalogues; spent £20 before I even knew I'd got an allotment) and if there's anything else I ought to be planting. Oh, and harvest the redcurrants to make redcurrant jelly. And find out how to make redcurrant jelly. And what redcurrant jelly is.