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Growing pains: The joy of sheds

PUBLISHED: 17:20 16 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 February 2013

More from our allotment holder

September:




Aaaah . . . rain. I know people setting off on their annual break or trying to keep kids on school holidays endlessly entertained will be cursing the fickle British weather, but for we grow-your-owners the arrival of a some decent summer rain couldn't be more welcome.
I know some people find watering therapeutic - standing there with the hose, mulling over the day's events or pondering the meaning of life - but speaking personally, for sheer tedium nothing beats the constant refilling and emptying of a watering can. On an allotment, it can take up to an hour.
So, if nature's prepared to do the work, bring it on.
I've harvested a good crop of early and second early potatoes, which we're now enjoying, but something has attacked my main crop. The plants have completely collapsed and while it doesn't look like what I recognise as blight, I have yet to investigate what's going on under ground.
I'm also harvesting some lovely courgettes, some of which grow into marrows almost before my eyes, beetroot and kale. The runner beans are starting to crop and the carrots and parsnips are coming along nicely, along with Savoy and red cabbages. I've also planted out leeks.
But the highlight of this month is my new shed. Well, it's a new old shed, actually, donated by my allotment neighbour, Eric, who very kindly thought of me when he was invited to rescue several sheds and storage items from the local school. They were getting rid of them to prepare the way for a new outbuilding.
I'm extremely grateful to him, although it came flat-packed (by Eric) and I quickly realised rebuilding it would test my DIY skills beyond the limit. Frankly I didn't know where to start. But the men of family came to the rescue (I have no shame) and between us we erected the shed next to the tatty existing one, the days of which are now numbered. It's a marvellous example of community recycling.
All I have to do now is get a strong shed lock - an absolute must for allotment holders, these days - and give it a lick of paint. Well, perhaps when it stops raining.

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