Friday, June 24, 2011

Come hell or high water - I WILL grow my vegetables

It's been tough weeks since my last post about the allotments. I've worked too much, moved too much and cultivated vegetables a lot. Everything in my life has been standing back to everything, and there's always more to do than my time allows. So if you think I sound tired you're right. Today I spent two hours in pouri rain weeding pale persicaria (Persicaria lapathifolia) from Angelina. Since my son have been ill I've been absent from the allotment in an entire week. And I'll pay for it... The persicaria is ruling the place right now. But I splashed my way around the beds removing it from four of them (there's a total of twenty beds). Then I lost my strength and decided I needed to return next day. Didn't feel happy about working on Midsummer's Eve (a big holiday in Sweden), but what can I do? This is an excersise in wearing down the adversary, and I need to see to that right fighter goes down.

We'll meet again, evil persicaria!

Since I've been moving and working I've only had time for Angelina. I don't dare thinking of how Precious and Victoria looks. Anyhow, some time before the winter we'll plant remounting strawberries on Precious. Mmmmmmm strawberries! asked the kind workers at Funbo Plantskola (local nursery, link in swedish) if they tastes good, since I'm a bit suspicious of fruit cultivated to aquire qualities that have nothing to do with the taste. They were positive; one of the 'parents' of the berry is a domestic wild strawberry and wild strawberries usually are tasty. Hm, let's see if it's true once we can harvest our own. A big advantage is that we can plant the strawberry field any time we like during the season, which gives us some respite.

The plastic cover we put over Victoria last time was suspiciously 'mountaingy' last time I saw it. I think the weed regard it as a nifty cover and thrive under it since we haven't put enough weights on it. Thanks to us moving places we have a lot of cartons I plan to put on the allotment instead, and I've found a place were they need to get rid of a mountain of instant wooden pallets. I got a heap of the pallets a year ago, hoping to build something out of them. Heh. That was the most useless wood I've ever come across. Dry as tinder, splintered to bits as soon as I tried to do anything with it, yet it was surprisingly heavy. In the end I made firewood of it all and gave it to friends with a big house filled with tile stoves. Now it strikes me I can use the pallets as weights weighing down the cardboard I'll put on Victoria. I just need to ask my source if I can bring my tiger saw and cut the pallets at their place.

Part of the pallet wood will become stepping planks for Angelina. It's not fun to work on her in pouring rain. The clay turns into slime that covers the trovels and turns the wellies into gigantic leaden clown shoes. And it's inpossible to keep the paths between the beds in good shape. Instead the muddy boots tear up deep holes and squishis the clay around to form instant mud feet baths. I should've known we'd put out those planks weeks ago, but weeks ago we had a heat wave and I was gardening without woollen* sweater and wet my head and hat to keep my cool. For some reason I thought this weather would stay for the entire summer. Should've known better.

The good news is I've been able to sow on almost all the beds on Angelina. (I had my doubts for a while.) The onions are growing, the potatoes needs ridging, the tomatoes are fruiting and the chard is coming along fine. Even the beds I sowed last week is sprouting seedlings, some of them really muscular. The giant sunflowers I sowed looks something like the land kelp Seymore I and II I grew indoors a while ago. This allotment have a chance to turn out fine.

*Last time I tended an allotment I wound up with pneumonia that kept me on my knees for more than a year. I'm scared to death this will happen again, so I keep my wollen sweater on unless the heat is tropical.

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