Having got the first early potatoes planted yesterday with the Year 2 children, I took my girls around to the allotment this afternoon to get the polythene cloches from Lidls over them. In the meantime Steve dismantled our Mantis tiller. Last weekend when he had tried to start it it had failed. We can't remember when we bought the tiller but it is probably about 8 years ago and we have never maintained it in any way other than putting new petrol in it as needed. So Steve got on the internet and looked up all the possible things that could go wrong and decided to splash out £25 on a maintenance kit. Now armed with the necessary bits and pieces and determination he stripped the thing to pieces. I left him to it.
Once the plastic hoops were in place over the two rows of potatoes I decided I needed to enlist the help of the girls in order to maneuverer the plastic sheeting into place. This proved to be a hugely entertaining game as far as the girls were concerned as the wind ballooned the sheeting up whilst they had in out stretched. I let them run around giggling with it for a few minutes before attempting to train it into place. As well as the two large tent pegs that came with the cloche, I secured the edges of the plastic with several bricks and a good scattering of soil.
Once the potatoes were covered I moved my attention onto the broad bean bed to finish the job the children had started on Friday. I pulled out 4 long trenches then my eldest reappeared, asking if she could help sow the broad bean seeds. She very patiently worked her way up and down two rows before her sister arrived asking if she could help too. So together they finished the last two rows together.
I left them to it and went to admire the apricot blossom. Oh I so hope this doesn't get damaged by frost - it would be great to get some apricots this year.
With the broad beans all sown, I covered up the drills and placed the cloche hoops over the rows before asking the girls if they fancied another go with the plastic parachutes!
Job done! Stand back and admire.
Oh yeah... and Steve got the Mantis working again just before dinner.