It’s the height of summer, and doesn’t it show. My allotment is overflowing with greenery and flowers, there are crops to be harvest nearly every day and the bees and hoverflies are buzzing about my head as I toil away. The warm weather, interspersed with heavy downpours are almost perfect conditions for everything to grow. Yes – everything!
The downside is the never ending weed situation – be it nettles, bramble, dandelions or dock; they pop up everywhere there is a spare millimetre of ground. They grow as quick, if not quicker than any planned seeds, meaning they often dwarf your beds. So every visit to the plot involves a hefty weeding session just to keep things under control.
Having a full time job and an allotment requires considerable time management in the summer. Although you are blessed with the longer days, there also seem to be more social events and trips away. People getting married, birthdays and BBQs; all these fun things taking up precious gardening stints. So you often find that it can be several days between visits, and then turn up to find nettles have invaded your courgettes, the spikey arms of bramble have encroached on your spuds and you have no idea how you are going to fit it all in your compost bin.
I try to console myself that the soil must be in good shape to be constantly producing these uninvited guests, and there is something therapeutic in their methodical removal. But it does mean every day I’m kept away, at the back of my mind I’m dreading what I will find on my return….