Archive for the 'Spring' Category

Disappearing rain

A follow-up to my rain rant…

This Spring is running true to form with last. It’s already three weeks since the last significant rainfall, and the weather forecasts are exactly the same: scattered showers are always predicted for tomorrow or the day after… but on the morning of ‘rain day’ the forecast mysteriously changes. The showers are suddenly nowhere to be seen.

I swear these guys forecast by looking out of the sodding window.

PS Today I was reduced to watering my potatoes. In April.

Posted on 16th April 2011
Under: Spring | 6 Comments »

Life is skittles, life is beer

Now that Spring is most definitely here, I’ve abandoned the gym and have been running outside for a few weeks.

It’s nice, especially first thing in the morning. Love that smell of musty, misty air half an hour after sunrise. Shame you have to get up so bloody early to experience it.

Life, in short, feels fairly good – especially now that I’m harvesting fresh asparagus almost every night.

Just a few worries, though. Perhaps somebody out there fitter than me can help answer them:

  • I can now run comfortably for 2.5 miles, but anything above 3m still hurts like hell. Oddly, some days it’s more painful than others. I ran 5.5m once and it felt OK. Other times, it’s crucifying to reach even the 4m mark. Why on earth is this? I watched people running the London Marathon on Saturday and wondered how the hell anyone can ever do it. I mean, I reckon I could run non-stop for 10km if there were a crash cart waiting at the finish line… but 26 miles? Huh?
  • I’m not really speeding up. OK, a bit – I’m up to about 5.5mph from 5.2mph… but that’s hardly significant. I thought after three months of running regularly I’d see a bigger improvement. Or am I being too impatient?

Posted on 27th April 2010
Under: Spring, Uncategorized | 14 Comments »


Seen the forecast… eh, eh?

Warm, sunny, windless, gorgeous (er, apparently).

I’m smacking my lips. Can’t wait to get stuck in to my allotment and actually do some work this weekend.

Maybe even cut the first asparagus. Now I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Posted on 9th April 2010
Under: Spring, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

New Soilman: Fitter, faster… but not leaner

Bit of a breakthrough today. I managed to run non-stop for just under 5 miles. At no blistering pace, admittedly, but still. An hour’s continuous running, just three months ago, would have been a risible notion. I got breathless heaving my arse out of bed.

On the down side, I’ve lost not an ounce of weight. Admittedly, my ‘diet’ has been pretty desultory… but I’d hoped that the exercise alone would do some good. It hasn’t.

Hey ho. You win some, you lose some. I may be fatter than I was at 30, but I’m fitter. I’ll settle for that.

Posted on 5th April 2010
Under: Spring | 7 Comments »

Perfect weekend… and nothing done

The temperature rose. The sun shone. The bees buzzed.

It was the perfect first day of Spring to be at the allotment… and I wasn’t there. Completely blew it. Ran out of time.

So bugger-all achieved, and now I’m falling behind. Potatoes desperately need planting, as do the onions. Where the hell am I going to find the time?

Posted on 14th March 2010
Under: Spring | 11 Comments »

Seed potatoes: Seeds of Spring

seed potatoesSpring is within view, at last; when the seed potato order arrives, it’s not far off.

I’m being very unadventurous: Desiree, Orla, Kerr’s Pink. The only slightly unusual one is Ratte, a terrific French second early/early maincrop that I’ve become fond of. Utterly delicious salad potato.

Who knows? I may even go to the allotment at some point. After, er, a month’s absence.

Posted on 21st January 2010
Under: Potatoes, Spring | 9 Comments »

More cauliflower crowing

I know I’m getting boring about this. And coming across as an insufferable egomaniac. So this is the last bit of vainglory, I promise…

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Posted on 25th April 2009
Under: Brassicas, Spring | 6 Comments »

Digging brambles

Bramble roots More bramble roots

Took advantage of the sensational weather on Sunday to start digging my new land.

Almost immediately wished I hadn’t. God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to bless me with ground that’s heaving with bramble roots as thick as your thumb. And the ‘soil’ is basically compacted clay. The kind that forces you to sit on the spade handle to lever it up.

I collapsed, utterly shagged out, after just an hour. At this rate, I’ll be turning the last clod when the first ice crystals form on the innermost circle of Hell.

Posted on 17th March 2009
Under: Spring, Weeds | 20 Comments »

I dig it my way

View from the shed on my allotmentIt’s not been pretty, and it’s only just done in time. But the allotment has been duly dug over and is ready to plant (give or take a bit of rubbish removal. Ahem).

Regrets? Well, never too few to mention. Wish I’d not planted so many bloody Jerusalem artichokes, and that I’d harvested them earlier. Plus it would have been nice to get all the digging done before the snow and frost.

But I’m largely happy. Roll on the summer.

Posted on 10th March 2009
Under: Spring | 9 Comments »

Planting onion sets for Spring!

How to plant onion sets

It’s here again: Spring. Official!

Well, not quite official… but March 8th is good enough for me.

Spring means planting onion sets and potatoes. So I made a start on the onions today by planting four rows. I bury them about 5″ apart, and deep enough so that only the very tip of the sets are just showing. Any shallower and the birds pull them up, meaning you have to do the whole wretched procedure all over again.

Still haven’t done anything about my new allotment extension. Neighbours report that the soil is seething with live bramble roots and is a bugger to dig. Which is comforting.

Posted on 8th March 2009
Under: Alliums, Spring | 13 Comments »