BREAKING NEWS (literally) BREAKING NEWS….
After managing to build and glaze the new Greenhouse on Good Friday, it was disappointing after two lovely family days to receive a telephone call from a fellow Plot Holder, who indeed, was the “bearer of bad news”. Storm Katie had crashed across the UK early in the morning of Easter Monday. Storm Katie battered large parts of England, leaving flights cancelled, property damaged and thousands of people without power. It was reported that gusts of up to 106mph hit the south of the country and more than 200,000 homes were without power at the height of the winds, with thousands having to wait several hours or days before they were reconnected…
So after a peaceful and family-filled Easter, I headed down the allotment to assess my damage:
The roof stayed in tact with the Horticultural Glass but many of the walls (most) had been ejected by the winds and many were smashed into several pieces (including onto neighbouring plots). I managed to salvage 9 whole panels but many of them were broken, cracked and smashed up…
And several were smashed and broken.
But there is not point getting upset about what has happened and we had to plan for tomorrow and for the future: So after some research headed to Hertfordshire (to a specialist Greenhouse supplier who had a very good price for toughened glass (£5 per pane) which is only just an hour away from London, and this was relatively quickly installed. I think having only recently glazed the Greenhouse, it seemed to be quite a straight-forward task and took no time at all. Even the two double-panels which had survived the Storm were replaced so that all Walls are now toughened glass.
Collecting up the broken glass has been completed as down our Allotment, we have a skip (on the first Friday of the month) so this has been bagged up and was taken to the skip.
And whilst I was on the Plot, I planted my new Strawberry (Florence & Honeoye) plants in one of my raised beds, after adding some potash (from my burning) and some of the compost that has been made on my plot. These new plants will hopefully provide some good fruit for jam (later in the year) and compliment the older plants which have been moved into the front of the Plot.
And before I left, I decided to plant my first Early Potatoes in one of the Raised Beds. The Red Duke of York seed potatoes have been chitting in my lean-to Greenhouse at home and are about ready to go in the ground. As per my previous years, I dug holes for the seed potatoes and after dropping in some rotted manure, these are watered in and piled up (to look a little like mole hills). I have planted these next to the new Strawberry plants so I will eventually have a grand bed of First Earlies (with Sharpe’s Express and Homeguard to be planted shortly).
Traditionally, First Earlies are planted on Good Friday (which was last week): so I was a few days later but they should be OK: as Easter is rather early this year and so they will be fine (I hope).
So after the excitement of a my new Greenhouse and the re-glazing of the walls, I am trying to look forwards to planning and preparing for the growing season. Good to have my first Potatoes in the ground and even some new (Strawberry) crops in raised beds. A bit more weeding and tidying-up needs to be completed (with a focus on the left-hand side now that I have spent time on the right-hand side Raised Beds) and certainly some planning so I know which beds I need to focus upon. Next week: more First Early Potatoes to be transferred to the Plot as well as more seed sowing to be completed. So back to the weeding down my plot…