I'm pleased to announce the birth of this years' first pumpkin! He weighed in at 1 stone 3 pounds and was picked this morning after it seemed to be getting a bit nippy in the evenings. I say 'he' as he has my son's name (faintly) etched on the skin, you can still the 'F' quite clearly on the left of the pumpkin. His sister is still growing and still not showing any signs of turning orange. So fingers crossed the nights don't get too cold.
Managed to pick some of the perpetual spinach, which was pleasing to see I get some as well as the slugs. I'm sure the kids will be overjoyed with it...
Moving on to plot no 2, now stuff is slowing down growing I thought it was best time to start the big tidy up. So I removed some of the slates edging the beds to try and make things a little safer, may eventually use them for the central path when they've been broken up a bit. I also took up some of the carpet that was lining the paths, just in time as I don't think it would have lasted out the winter, however I've still got to get rid of it somehow - I'm not a big fan of carpets on allotments at all, I'm still digging up the stuff on the old plot, as well as having a huge piece down there to somehow dispose of. Carpets may seem like a good idea at the time, but they'll come back to haunt you!
Pruned the summer raspberries and had a look at the blackcurrants before seeking advice from someone who know what they're doing - Richard from a couple of allotments away. Ditto the rather sickly looking gooseberries. Hopefully with a bit of hard pruning, some TLC to the soil and a relocation across the newly expanded fruit bed they will do better in years to come.
The apples still aren't ready, but I did try one - after hitting my head on it and knocking it off the tree! - and at least confirmed they were edible. Bit sharp and very hard still, but should be good when they are finally ready. Bit worried to see what looked like a woodlouse tunneling into it though, not going to help them store well. Although the rate we get through them in our house, it's not likely to be a long term issue.
Having confirmed one of the trees was just for 'decoration' that was next on the hit list. There's another tree on the list and a few shrubs, in an attempt to turn it back into an productive allotment as opposed to a garden extension. Needless to stay by the time I left it was all looking like a bit of a mess...