We’ve all been there. That moment you realise you’ve just done the most ridiculous thing, and you’ve no idea why. It’s never happened before, you’ve taken steps in the past to avoid it ever happening in the future but some how, against all your best efforts, it’s happened.
Over the past week I’ve been making steady progress at the allotment. I’ve been re-digging and re-weeding the larger plots while waiting for the tender crops to be planted out. I also managed to plant out the cauliflowers and get some brassica collars to put around the base of each plant. I found a net tunnel protector lurking in the shed which I managed to stretch over the whole row to protect them from the birds.
Next on the list was the onions. I’d been hardening them off for about a week and a half so they needed to be planted out, all 120 of them. I’ve got 3 varieties (2 rows of 40 for each) – Bedfordshire Champion, Red Barron and Ailsa Craig. I hadn’t appreciated how many onions I’ve been growing and had thought I’d have room in the onion bed to plant out my leeks along with my carrots and parsnips. That’s a plan I’m going to have to revise! I’ll be lucky to get just my carrots in the space that’s left. No matter, I’m sure I’ll find space somewhere.
In the short time I’ve had at the plot this week I’ve potted up all my squash and pumpkin seedlings. I’d planted them in cell trays next to some sprouts and cabbages to save on space and pots but they’ve grown so fast they’ve started to over crowd the other seedlings. I reused the pots from the cauliflower plants to re home the squash so it was a win-win all round.
Every day, before and after work, I’ve managed to pop along to the allotment, just for 10 – 20 minutes or so to check on the plants, make sure the slugs are keeping their mitts off my cauliflowers and to check the birds haven’t pulled up any of the onions. All the plants have been watered, the new seedlings are popping up and everything that’s been planted out has survived the elements.
Today before work, I was a little pushed for time so I only managed to water the plants in the greenhouse. I made a mental note to swing by on my way home to give all the plants a check over and to nab a few stalks of rhubarb to make a crumble tonight. When I arrived at the allotment I opened the shed, checked on the plants in the greenhouse and assessed the crops already planted out. Nothing unusual to report, no pests or green-fly on the broad beans, the peas are making their way nicely up the twine supports, the onions are still there and are starting to perk up a bit and the potatoes are sufficiently leafy enough to warrant their first earthing up tomorrow. Feeling pretty good, I grabbed a few stalks of rhubarb, lopped their leaves off and returned the cutters to the shed. I shut up the shed, padlocked the door and headed out.
It was then that it happened.
Looking back at the shed door I realised I’d left all my keys hanging up on a peg inside. My car keys and the keys to lock up the whole allotment site. I couldn’t believe it. How could this happen? I can’t even remember hanging them up, I never hang them up, I always put them in my bag and keep my bag with me wherever I am on the plot to avoid ever leaving the keys hanging up and inadvertently locking them inside the shed. To say I was annoyed with myself was an understatement. In times of trouble there’s only one thing to do. Reinforcements were called and my Dad headed along with a hammer. I had left a window open on the greenhouse which is attached to the shed, so the first plan was to try and climb in. Cat burglary is clearly not my strong suit and after realising there was no way to get through the window, even after using the upturned burning bin to give me a bit of extra height, we finally decided to get the hammer out and jemmy one side of the padlock off.
Locking my keys in the shed is a lesson I’m not likely to forget in a hurry and before I can start to get busy earthing up the potatoes tomorrow, I’ll have to get the drill out and fix the padlock back onto the shed door.
Now I love taking pictures of all the ups and downs I encounter at the allotment, and I feel it’s important to share both the successes and failures along the way. Having said that, I am not going to share pictures of me in my work/office clothes balanced precariously on a metal bin trying to get my leg through a small greenhouse window! I will however share the picture of the apple and rhubarb crumble I made to compensate for my epic fail!