Having made so little progress yesterday I set to spreading out the leafmould I had left in heaps. Then I prepared for digging. Using my 'Backsaver' spade means digging a trench along the fence before I start and barrowing the soil to the other end. Having done that I started digging soil into the trench with the spade. It is easy to work up a rhythm and, if I could keep going, it would take only 20 minutes to dig the whole 4 by 3 metre patch. However, I normally take a break every yard out so and go and do something else. (At my age pacing yourself is important!) One interruption was to cut a slice down the side of the patch butting on to the raspberries because there were raspberry roots invading the digging area making life difficult and it is essential I remove them as many were already producing shoots.
The photo shows how even very thin roots can produce very strong shoots.
Once the patch was dig and the soil heaps used to fill in the final trench, I moved on to the next section of my plot (the other side of the raspberries) and hoed and weeded out the weed infested pea haulms. I had hoped most of the patch last week but with the rain we have had the weeds have survived. This time I talked them off and piled them on my compost heap, extracting the canes and sticks used to stake the peas, leaving a clean patch ready for mulching with compost ready for next year's brassicas.
I then needed to do some harvesting. After picking the Autumn raspberries and one measly thin cucumber, I started picking the dwarf French beans. There were quite a lot even though I had picked them last week. I gave up half way down the second row as I had a bucketful and needed a break from bending.
I had decided I would take most of my squashes home to finish ripening in the greenhouse. The vines had withered and the weeds were shielding the squashes from the sun so I cut them free, leaving a longish stalk. There were so many, and they were so large I needed 6 carrier bags - and one of those split as I carried them to the car.
By then, after I had cleaned and packed everything away, it was after 6 o'clock so I drove round the allotment checking I was the last on site ready to lock the gate. However, as I opened the gate a car drew up with another allotmenteer wanting to make a quick visit before dark so I left the lock ready to snap shut as he left.