It goes without saying that 2020 will be a year that will be remembered for years to come. We took on a new allotment plot in January before all the chaos began. It’s been a beautiful place to escape to, and a welcome escape from the house and technology, but at the same time its been much harder to find the time to get down and weave our visits around homeschooling and the elements. As a result, the weeds are taking over, and the horsetail is having a little party on my plot!

Changing Plans

Back in January, I decided to dig the plot over by hand. I managed to make it about 3 meters in 8 weeks and still had 32 meters left behind me.

Then the rain started and with it came the flooding. A local village was really badly hit, my heart went out to the residents and in comparison my waterlogged allotment was nothing, but it did hold up progress and prompted a decision – switch to ‘Plan B’. We decided to cover the allotment with weed membrane so I could forget about the situation behind me and dig. That didn’t last long as the weed membrane, though staked and weighed down with pallets, managed to come unpegged in the bad winds – I couldn’t leave it flapping and I couldn’t peg back down with the wind so strong so I had no choice but to roll it back up.

And so we reluctantly chose ‘Plan C’, we rotavated. Having had an allotment before, we knew we were rotavating the perennial roots and that it’s a complete no-no. In all fairness, it was probably the best decision and allowed us to plant up the entire plot this year which we definitely wouldn’t have done if I was digging by hand.

Relentless Horsetail

And so the horsetail is having a bit of a party, and it’s relentless! I am hoeing it off as quickly as I can, but has the whole plot is covered its a big job. The photos show before and after weeding on our sprout plants. I am leaving the cut strands to shrivel & die-off in the sun. As long as I keep on top of it, it should weaken the plant and be easier to manage next year (hopefully!)

Stopping to smell the roses

I’ve spent so much time recently focusing on hoeing the marestail down, I haven’t taken much time to appreciate the other parts of the plot. And so I spent a good twenty minutes today just taking photographs and breathing it all in, watching the bees enjoy the plants and helping the children find ladybugs. We found our first ripe summer raspberry which was absolutely delicious (and I ate it so fast I didn’t get time to photograph!)