Plot Notes

A personal journal, open for the world to read, recording the progress of a novice allotmenteer on his allotment.

Weed it and reap.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Queen of Mean

I received a newsletter from a seed company this week which described May as "The Queen of Months". I disagree. She might sometimes be warm and pleasant during daylight hours but don't be fooled by her false friendliness because she is fickle and after the sun has gone down she can quickly turn into a vicious and spiteful old witch. Last year she cold-heartedly murdered my beans. This year she has blown her icy deathly breath over my beloved vines. Just look at the mess she has made of them.

I was so proud of the progress of my plucky little vines last weekend. Did you see the photos I posted? Their perky shiny green leaves were soaking up the Spring sunshine and they looked bright, alert and full of promise for a fruitful Summer. Now, after the frost of Tuesday night, they are nothing more than grey, listless shadows of their former selves.

I had heard the forecast which warned of a chance of frost in rural areas on Tuesday night but I made the mistake of thinking that after surviving the harshest of Winters these vines were indestructible. I have now learned the lesson that there is a great deal of difference in cold tolerance between a vine which is in a dormant Winter state and one which is bursting with new Spring shoots which are full of fresh rising sap.

I don't think the May Witch has killed the vines. She has certainly nipped in the bud all the early season growth but I am optimistic that there will be more growth to come from new buds which are yet to burst. Although I am disappointed by this frost damage I must remind myself that these vines are still only just over one year old and I never expected to take much of a crop off them until year three and so, hopefully, in the long run this frost attack will be of no consequence.

In any event, next year I will be sure to be prepared for the capricious and vengeful May Queen and I will have fleece blankets on standby ready to wrap up the vines and tuck them in for the night if there is ever a hint of frost in the air.

On a brighter note, whilst staring out of the kitchen window, lamenting the damage to the vines, I noticed that the first chilli pepper of the year has formed. The first of many I hope.


  1. Sorry the frost has got to vines, it's an odd time of year with higher than normal temps and the threat of cold nights always there. Hope they grow back OK.

  2. May can be a tricky time, clear blue skies often mean frosty nights. We've had two so I've been tangled up in yards of fleece, looking more Bride of Dracula than Kate Middleton!

  3. Phil, I think you are wrong about the May Queen. She is just off enjoying the city night life while Jack frost snicks back and jealously destroys her good work.