A new season in a new growing year. Spring, my favourite time of year.

A new season at my allotment

This will be my sixth season at my allotment in Southampton. It is eleven rods long, quite a big plot. I decided to section everything up with raised beds; it has no grass but wood chip paths. After the storms and wet weather the wood chip that had been there for four years had rotted, so needed topping up. Now, me being a complete weed freak had to go around digging out every single weed and teasel seedling that had taken root in the paths, this took me about two hours, but with the help of my mum the back breaking process of walking up and down hill with the shovel and wheelbarrow, fetching wood chip, (fifteen trips in all), was completed.

A new season at my allotment

It has been a family project which took four years to complete. My sons were eight and ten when I took it on, they have helped over the years with digging, watering and picking crops, but the best fun for them has been having water fights with the hose. My husband on the other hand is not a keen gardener, he has been a great help with the construction of the raised beds. My parents have been fantastic help since their retirement, but I am the overall boss and everything has to pass through me. My husband and my dad thought I was crazy and had took on too much what with being a working mum of two boys, but I was stubborn and determined to prove them wrong, and with their help; they ate their words. I suppose that is why I’m so paranoid when it comes to weeds, but this is my favourite time of year, spring .The new beginning of the growing season.

This season I plan to grow more flowers and veggies, normally I grow sunflowers, sweet peas, marigolds, dahlias and poached egg plants. Poached egg plants are wonderful, they self seed incredible well, give a superb display of flowers. Then they can be dug up and the space can be reused, seeds are left in the ground when the seed pods explode, then they pop up again the next year without any TLC.

A new season at my allotment

Three weeks ago I seeded up Black-eyed Susan, sweet peas, cosmos bright & white, and Pom Pom dahlias. They are all growing well. Tomato seeds planted in March are just about to grow their second leaves. This week I plan to seed up courgettes, butternut and runner beans. The sooner we are eating our own veg the better, at the moment we are only eating home grown purple broccoli, which is delicious.

Jen Griff

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