In terms of jobs jobbed we got another bed weeded and dug over before covering two of the beds in manure from the large pile that had appeared at the top of the site.
We've covered one of the freshly manured beds over with plastic again which may or may not be the things to do. Most people on the site seem to leave the ground uncovered once they've put the manure on but we thought we'd try covering one back up to see if that keeps it all moist and helps it do its job better. We'll see what happens... The manure is actually less strawy than it looks in this pic, we'll try and pick the worst of it out when we come to plant/dig it in though.
It doesn't feel like we actually got a huge amount done really but it's all progress and with most of the beds still covered in plastic the plot doesn't actually look much different to how it did before the day before. Out of the nine beds currently marked out four have been dug and three of those manured (I think that's all we'll manure this year as I know some things aren't that keen on freshly manured ground) so there's still a lot of work to be done. Thankfully, with us planning to start most of our crops at home in pots, there's no immediate rush for ground space so we can continue to do one bed a weekend and not kill ourselves all being well.
Talking of starting things off at home, Sunday marked the official start of our sowing season. I've got a sowing diary all set out and I'm going to try to stick to that as best I can which should mean sowing little and often rather than starting a million things off at once. First up were some red cabbage (Fuego) and bell peppers (California Wonder) for the allotment as well as some chilli (Capsicum Twilight) and three different types of basil (normal, lemon and dark opal) to grow at home.
As you can see, not everything we grow will be done at the allotment, as well as things like herbs and chillies we've also got some over wintering garlic (Solent Wright) in the back garden as well as some very sad looking onions which I think have suffered from a late start (thanks to Dobies delivering them horribly late) coupled with a certain amount of attention from our two very curious kittens, I'll give them a bit longer just in case they perk up but at the moment I'm tempted just to pull them up and pretend they never happened. Here's the garlic though, never grown it before so we're quite pleased with them so far.
We also did a bit of a trawl through the cheapy shops in Gloucester on Saturday to see what we could find for the garden/allotment. Best find was some garden fleece in Poundland, 1m x 6m for a quid isn't to be sniffed at so we nabbed three packs and may go back for more. Also in Poundland Melanie (who is determined that we'll be growing some flowers this year at home now we won't be filling all the space with veg) picked up a load of different flower bulbs, I could tell you the varieties but obviously being a man their names went in one ear and out the other while I concentrated on how much fleece we'd need. However, some flowery things did grab my attention when I spied a box of rake in flower seed. It seems to be about twenty different types of flower seed in a box that you can just scatter on the prepared soil, rake in and leave it to grow a quick and easy display of colour. It seemed like the perfect way to bring a splash of colour to the allotment so I bought a pack and with any luck we'll run a long thin flower bed along the edge of the plot next to the path which should look nice as well as attract the bug eating insects.