Allotment groups on Facebook this morning were full of photos of frost damaged plants with comments like ‘…and this was inside my greenhouse under three layers of cardboard and some garden fleece.’ This made me nervous about what we’d find when we visited our plot. I tried to reason with myself that all the frost damage was on sites further north, but I had an inkling that my bubblewrap and fleece might not have been adequate protection when temperatures plummeted last night.
As it turned out, frost wasn’t our primary concern upon reaching the allotments. We found an angry P in the car park shovelling wood chip for L. Apparently the apiarist made the bees particularly aggressive this afternoon and L had been stung on the top of her head. The apiarist had retreated to tend the hives in the copse as far away as possible from our row after L shouted at him, but the raised voices probably made the bees worse. They were still aggressive when we arrived and Rob was stung beneath his left eye before we made it to our plot.
We debated leaving but decided to unload our snazzy new bike trailer (mainly cardboard for me to line the bed I’ve been digging), remove the frost protection from the beds, and then run away before the bees came back for more.
We’d have to pass very close to the hive to get back to the site exit, so after further discussion, we decided to light a fire and hope the smoke would discourage the bees from coming near us until they settled. Then we’d leg it.
Since we were there I recorded the damage the frost had done. I think we got off lightly considering it was -5C in a village close by last night. L lost a lot of her produce, but our potato and Jerusalem artichoke damage looks superficial, and I don’t think it’ll take long for them to recover.
The wild garlic patch, however, didn’t fare so well and I think it’s been decimated by slugs.
I’ll return with coffee grounds and eggshells tomorrow, but it might be too late to save them.
Still, aside from rampant bees, frost damage and slug attack the afternoon wasn’t all bad. We did get to try our new tripod and cookpot to make our very first cuppa on the plot. Earl Grey and nettle tea in soup pots (because we’re classy).
I’m thinking I might wear full body armour when I return to the plot tomorrow… Just in case.