Since my last post - a whole month ago, sorry about that! - Spring has unsprung. We've had weeks of cold east winds, bringing freezing temperatures, snow showers, and even a particularly torrential three days of sleet and rain that saturated the country and left fields and roads flooded. The allotment has been so soggy and cold and miserable that it's been impossible to dig a bed or even consider sowing seeds outdoors.
Ok, that's my moan over! It's now April, and there are signs that it might get warmer by Sunday, so here's hoping it improves soon.
I finally bit the bullet and evicted the seed potatoes from their windowsill yesterday. I dug over two beds roughly and added the contents of the two compost bins to one. As usual I have seed potatoes from Irish Seed Savers - this year I'm trying earlies Epicure, Land Leaguers and Osprey. The maincrop will be Pimpernell, Sarpo Mira and Tibet, plus a few Peru Purple from last year.
The other main event of yesterday was coming face to face with a giant rat that exploded out of the compost bin when I turned it over to empty it. It legged it off and disappeared under the shed. As I haven't got room for a compost bin in my new house I've been bringing (raw) food scraps out to the allotment instead, and it must be attracting unwanted attention. My plan is to get some paving stones and chicken wire next weekend and make the bins rodent proof.
At home, the little backyard is starting to take shape. I've started painting the raw walls a muted green, and I've begun painting the gate too. It's slow going as it's been so damp and cold, but it's starting to look better. The plants have started to creep in too - I've bought herbs and some primulas and some garlic chives and so on. The tomatoes are surviving in the little greenhouse but seeds are very slow to germinate. We really could do with some pleasant warm spring weather to help move things along.