Aching back, covered in mud…

Back from my second trip to the plot. Aching back, covered in mud, looking like an country bumpkin tramping about with a garden fork sticking out of my bag among the suits and briefcases of the Northern Line, but tired and happy. In one sense I have made great progress – half the plot is now cleared and turned over. Thank god for carpets is all I can say. The bits of ground that the departing allotmenteers didn’t cover in thick carpet are a carpet themselves. Of weeds. I’m baffled as to how I can tackle them. But that may just be fuddled brain from too much fork work. Looks like it is going to be a serious session with the glyphosate. But not with a prissy nozzle spray as I did today. It may be time to wield hefty watering cans of the stuff. Mind you, there is no water in the pipes at the moment, and when I went to try and wash some of the worst of the mud (hah!) off the fork I had to break the ice on the watering trough first.

Must remember to take the camera on the next visit so I can cheer myself up with the work. But it is a patchwork. The top six metres of the site are covered in huge swathes of weed and old wood from the raised beds, not to mention shreds of carpet and the rhubarb that is pushing up In The Wrong Place in the middle of all this mess. And then at the bottom of the site closest to the shed there are about four metres of solid weed. We have hauled the carpet there but I think it calls for weed killer plus black plastic sheets. Naturally as soon as I came back I wanted to have a shower, drink tea and then go back again. But tomorrow is marmalade day and making food for the long weekend in Scotland with David’s parents. Already I am chafing at being away.

Had a try at pruning the apple trees. The smaller one is in a very sorry state, I noticed that it rocks a bit and needs proper staking and, well, quite frankly, chopping down. But there were plenty of evidence of rotting fruit at the base so I will no doubt be reminded of this uncharitable thought in October when I am cooking up buckets of the stuff.