In the morning I did more seed-sowing, filling up the office with seed trays:

  • Artisan Bumble Bee cherry tomatoes
  • Red Alert tomatoes
  • Sweet peas
  • Gaillardia
  • Marigolds
  • Clary Salvia
  • Rudbeckia
  • Malope
  • Cosmos

I’d hoped that the ground at the allotment would have drained a bit by the afternoon, but clearly there’d been a bit more rain than I realised since my last visit. At various places on the paths there was standing water and neighbouring plots were under more water than before. When I peeled back the plastic on Bed 8 (revealing mouse and ant nests) and stuck my fork in there was some almighty squelching. I turned the manure into the soil carefully and then re-covered it. Sowing the beetroot and sweet peas will have to wait; I don’t want the seeds just rotting before germinating.

Since everything was so wet I decided to have a go at at least reducing the plum tree. The branches snapped off pretty easily and they’ve been broken up and put into the compost bins.

I was then left with the 3′ trunk, which I snapped off nearer the ground by pulling on it with one hand and holding on to an espalier wire with the other hand, thus saving myself from falling when it snapped.

The ground was so wet that I was able to move the root stock around quite a bit. Holding on to the wire I shoved the stump every which way with my feet. I baled what water and mud I could out of the hole and stuck gloved hands down to find what roots were still holding on (and found a gladiolus bulb). I cut the remaining roots with the shears and in the end I was able to heave the whole stump and root ball up on to ground level. I think very little of the root stock remains down there.

I may be a bit behind with the bed prep thanks to this wet spring, but I’m delighted to have got the tree out all on my own. Just the wires to be removed and then I can do a better tidy of that corner. I’m undecided as to the fate of the lavenders; they’re very scrawny.

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