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It is raining.

Hallelujia. It was becoming the Sahara-on-Esk around here.

Aldi supplies…

The search term Aldi seeds often brings people here and I get reports of very varying quality. Some report great success, some a lot of duff seeds, although I have heard tell of a lot of waste from Sutton’s Seeds (altogether more expensive) this year. Not long ago I snagged three raspberry and three redcurrant bushes from Aldi: dirt cheap. All six have taken well. I’m buying a Homebase blueberry bush tonight.  Will let you know how that goes.

Cheapo German soft fruit, doink sehr vell.

This allotmonaut…

…is proudly fuelled by local pies.

Steak and gravy pie, Lyth's butchers, High Street Hinderwell. By such great stuff is No. 16 dug.

An Icelandic volcano about which we know little erupts and within days the newspapers are breathlessly reporting shortages of things we can mostly do without. I have got to 45 without a Kenyan sugar snap pea passing my lips.

Rosie Boycott (I suspect a lady with more time and money than most) tells us that our gardens can help when volcanoes and the fragility of international aviation conspire against us. I agree, but would rather not hear it from one of the media elite.

Today's 9 (ish) yards of weeded and edged bed.

Yards of couch grass roots hoiked out and gleefully burned on the bonfire in the background. Seed rows watered and neigbours’ chickens looked at with envy. Except the one which has escaped and had clearly been pecking around my cultivated beds, wreaking the havoc. Most of the allotments are back to full life, with the owners determined to catch up from the ravages of a long winter. The more lackadasical ones neglecting their plots as fervently as ever.

We have sadly neglected plots on either side of No 16: the one in the background of the pi above has lain abandoned for the three years we’ve had No 16 and the one behind where I stood to take the pic has sprouted an illegal chicken city and a splendid crop of assorted weeds. Both cheerfully supply windblown weed seeds and couch grass roots to my plot and I am getting somewhat pigged off with both the eyesore and source of weeds. T’committee (a bloke called Dave, a benign dictator of the finest sort: he has a dicky hip) should intervene.

Onions!

An onion seedlinglet on No 16, seen today.

Daily progress…

Raised bed stomped into place, filled with loam (from the turves I scutted off two years ago when I got no 16) and strawbs planted, a row of garlic (Solent Wight) and a row of chard alongside.

Today's planting progress.

However, the satisfaction of that was offset by turning another patch of ground and encountering a snake’s honeymoon of couch grass:

Weeds of satan.

And yes, that’s the setting sun on the piles of turves behind. The couch grass roots are going onto a bonfire. 12 more sweetcorn seed were planted in fibre pots, 50 basil seeds planted and…this is entry is smelling of things-accomplished self righteousness. Time to stop.

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