I was suffering from severe allotment withdrawal symptoms at the weekend. I managed to get down to the plot with two helpers on Saturday and the symptoms melted away immediately. Between us we got a lot done in a couple of hours: clearing a couple of the raised beds of weeds, topping up the compost heap, tidying up grass edges and harvesting jerusalem artichokes, purple sprouts, florence fennel, horseradish root and celeriac.
It's still looking far more messy than I'd like, but this year I have to be realistic about just how much I can get done on the plot: partly because work and promoting my book have to be accommodated, and I have another project in development - let's just say I am working on helping to create the next generation of allotment gardeners.
One must-do on my list is ordering in a big pile of bark chips to lay down on the paths around the raised beds: not only to keep the weeds under control, but also to stop me slipping about when the soil is wet.
At this time of year, it's important not to try to work the soil when it's completely waterlogged: better to wait until things have dried out a bit - otherwise you risk compacting it. This just means crushing out all the air pockets that are essential to good plant growth. My soil was just about workable, but then I am lucky enough to have wonderful stuff to work with. Anyone with a clay-heavy allotment may find it's a few weeks yet before the real work can begin.