Spalding artist’s allotment is about more than growing vegetables

Carol's overflowing compost bin.
Carol's overflowing compost bin.
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Carol Parker talks us through her month on the allotment.

It’s great to be back digging again. I’d forgotten how much I loved it… almost as good as chocolate!

As long as the ground is dry, the weeds come up really easily.

My only problem at the moment is where to put them as my compost heap is so high I can’t reach the top.

Science of composting

Composting is not my forte – I know you’re meant to sort perennial weeds from others. I have a large plastic butt full of water all ready to pop them into, to render them harmless and safe to join their pals, but it often gets forgotten. And now I’m reaping the consequences of my lack of diligence: a compost full of couch grass.

My compost is like my wardrobe, full of things that shouldn’t be there!

I need a clear out of both; one will involve bags to the charity shop the other the digging of two very deep runner bean trenches where I can begin to bury the perennial offenders.

I’m not precious: if any of you loyal readers out there fancy joining me for a bit of back breaking, mucky work then feel free, please do – it’s cheaper than the gym.

As an avoidance tactic, I planted some French beans and lettuce so I can watch their progress from my deckchair; I’ll get round to the other thing.

Gardening for health

I’m busier than I’ve been for years workwise, so the allotment provides a welcome opportunity to relax and turn off the creative mind for a while.

It’s restorative, 30 minutes a week results in a reduction in stress and fatigue and boosts self esteem and vigour, leaving us less prone to anger, depression and anxiety, according to scientific studies...it’s not just about growing vegetables.