A bonus to gardening on the allotment is the knowledge and advice given from other plotholders who are old hands at cultivation, in addition to the plant swapping that takes place at this time of year once the seedlings become large enough to be planted out.
It can be pot luck as to whether the seeds will germinate and produce healthy plants but it has been a good season so far.
The apple tree has a wealth of apples on its branches which, even after the ‘June drop’ when excess fruit will fall, should still give a good supply for picking in late summer. It may be necessary to do a bit of thinning so that no two apples are touching one another to allow them to develop fully.
My first crops of radishes and chard are ready for harvesting and a handful of strawberries have already ripened from the plants that were transplanted to a new position last autumn.
In the sunshine, bees alight at regular intervals on the chive and comfrey flowers and young fledgling birds, still exhibiting tufts of natal down from beneath their flight feathers, take opportunities to pick up a worm or two from any newly turned earth.
Dahlias have become a favourite with gardeners once again and I have grown these from seed on my windowsill. Only three plants have grown big enough to be planted out but they should produce numerous vibrant flowers throughout the summer.
Dahlias came to Europe from Mexico over two hundred years ago and can thrive in all types of soil but will not survive frosty winters outside so the tubers need to be lifted and stored in a warmer place until the following spring.