Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

frozen-borage…and fingers and toes! I love the crisp, cold weather, but my poor circulation would rather be in Goa right now. Despite double wrapping my feet and hands go numb very quickly. And there’s nothing either soft or yielding about the ground right now when I fall.

It is beautiful up at the allotments. Everything is rimed with frost, crunchy underfoot and sparkling in the sunshine. Which only hits one side of my plot – even at 6ft the hedge casts a long shadow while the sun is this low.

breaking-ice-for-birdsAll the water is frozen. I feel very sorry for the birds and their hunt for water. I broke the ice for them on one of the dip-tanks – it’s an inch thick and took much bashing with a cultivator before I got through.

The leafy brassicas and beets have sagged, and my parsnips are beyond droopy. They all taste amazing though! Not so much the swedes, which look impressive but are unpleasantly bitter. I am kicking myself for overlooking the watering in summer and autumn and hoping that the frosts might do something to sweeten them a bit. Next year I won’t be so sparing with the watering can!

On investigation, I finally have garlic – just 3 stubby shoots showing above ground so far in the elephant garlic section. No show at the moment from the Red Dukes.

november-saffronOver on #92 the saffron beds are growing well. I took up a box of Supagrow to give them a feed, forgetting that the ground would be frozen solid. I can’t even get the weeds out. It’s not frozen like this since 2012 and I am far too used to being able to work feed into at least the top few sodden inches of soil no matter the time of year.

winter-artichokesHowever the artichokes seem to have forgotten it’s winter and there is a surprise bonus harvest to bring home for dinner. It will also add nicely to the yearly harvest tally which I MUST update sometime soon.

Not being able to hack at the ground means I have time for some long overdue plot tidying. All the canes are stashed away, the wire mesh for peas and sweet peas has been rolled up and the munty frames are coming down at last. Plus there’s the allotment cat to fuss over – I think he recognises the sound of my car, because he comes dashing across the field as I wander down to my plot.

Categories: Diary 2016

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