Thursday, 31 January 2008

New Book

I recently signed up for a subscription to "Grow Your Own" magazine, and was given the free gift of a copy of "The Allotment Book" by Andi Clevely.


It arrived today, and I have to say it looks excellent, a really good in depth guide to having an allotment. It talks about sheds, paths, soil improvement and much more.

Well written, with beautiful pictures and tons of information.

Recommended. Either get it with the subscription, if it's still available, or buy it.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Getting busy ... and mucky

Having felt ill all week, I perked up a little with the coming of the weekend, and dragged myself down allotment for some fresh air.

My raspberry canes and strawberry plants have arrived, so I needed to clear some room to plant them out. I forked over the bed I had my runner beans in last year, added some compost and put in some posts (I need to get bigger ones) and wire and planted the summer raspberry canes. The ground was too wet to clear new beds, for the autumn raspberries so I had to settle for planting them as two bunches in the raised bed planned for the strawberries. This I cleared out of the remaining brussels sprouts and leeks and added compost and covered with a black sheet.

I repaired the damaged compost bin, and examined the contents. I'm afraid it wasn't composting too well, too much woody material and too dry. I transferred the contents to a pile at the back of the allotment which I intend to become a larger composting heap, and cleared out the compost bin. The other bin seems to be doing fine.

The ground was mucky and getting worse as the day wore on, so I had to make a bodge job of putting down some slabs in front of the shed, just laid on some sand. Need to put down some proper concrete when the weather dries up a little.

Luckily there is a few bark chippings left, courtesy of the council, and I managed to get four barrow loads of that down on the paths which helped. Could do with a few more though.

Didn't manage to get the strawberries out though, and with the weather looking dodgy for the rest of the week, I think I'm going to pot them up and keep them in the greenhouse, till next weekend.

Tasks to do next weekend (weather permitting):

1. dig bed for autumn raspberries, and transfer them over.
2. plant out strawberries
3. more bark down on paths.
4. fork over beds for brassicas and cover with sheet to warm it.
5. concrete base for the slabs.

Through the week tasks:

1. Dig out some compost
2. pot strawberries
3. make a proposed sewing diary based on seeds I have.

With the weather being so bad, there was nobody around, I'm hoping to get a contact number for the guy who delivers manure, because I could do with a load on my plot.

Mobile 001

The photo shows the summer raspberries out, the autumn raspberries in clumps at the top of the raised bed, which is covered over. Oh and the mud, you can see lots of mud.

PS. The sprouts were excellent, I've blanched some and frozen them for next week.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Allotment Visit

I've not been feeling too well the past couple of days, so today was sanctioned as a duvet day. I made the call to work and stayed in bed. This afternoon, still feeling horrible, I decided to drag myself outside for some fresh air, and ended up walking over to the allotment for a quick inspection. I took a few quick photos.

Mobile, Allotment 006

This is the view from the path. It shows the two small raised beds for the kids, the top one has rocket and leeks, the bottom has strawberries. The large raised bed on the right is where most of my veg grew this year. The bed covered with black sheeting  is where the runner beans, potatoes and courgettes grew.

The plan for this year is to plant raspberries where the potatoes and runner beans were, the raised bed will have strawberries.

Then there is the shed and the two compost bins.


Mobile, Allotment 005

These are the brussels sprouts, with leeks, the only (edible) things growing.


Mobile, Allotment 004

This is a view from the other side of the shed looking towards the top of the plot. showing several beds covered in manure, and a lot of work still to be done.


Mobile, Allotment 003

This is a view from the top of the allotment looking down to the shed. As you can see I've still got quite a bit of ground to clear, and it's too wet to dig at the moment.

It left me feeling a bit depressed with the amount still to do, but I had a chat with a fellow allotmenteer, and that cheered me up a bit, and then I came home and looked at some photos from the last February when I took the plot on.


So progress has been made, despite 2007 being a bit of a bugger of a year personally. Looking forward to seeing how it compares this time next year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Seed Order

This is the list of seeds and plants I have ordered:

  • Broad Bean Imperial Green Longpod Seeds
  • Climbing French Bean Cobra Seeds
  • Beetroot Action F1 Seeds
  • Broccoli Marathon F1 Seeds
  • Brussels Sprouts Cascade F1 Seeds
  • Cabbage Puma F1 Seeds
  • Carrot Maestro F1 Seeds
  • Cauliflower Nessie F1 Seeds
  • Courgette Tosca F1 Seeds
  • Cucumber Marketmore Seeds
  • Green Manure Seeds - Mustard White
  • Basil Seeds: Sweet Basil
  • Chive Seeds
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Dill Bouquet Seeds
  • Lemon Grass Seeds
  • Mint Seeds
  • Oregano Seeds
  • Rosemary Seeds
  • Sage Seeds
  • Thyme Seeds
  • Leek Carlton F1 Seeds
  • Lettuce Little Gem Seeds
  • Garlic Solent Wight Bulbs
  • Onion (Spring) Guardsman Seeds
  • Onion Sets Setton (400g)
  • Parsnip Albion F1 Seeds
  • Pea Alderman Seeds
  • Pea Sugar Ann Seeds
  • Potato Maris Piper - 3 kg
  • Raspberry Collection
  • Strawberry Twin Pack - Perfection & Malling Opal

I just hope I can fit everything in.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The New Year

A Happy New Year to everybody.

I've ordered up my seeds for the following year. I'm really looking forward to getting started.  There's not much on the allotment at the moment, just sprouts and leeks. Roll on spring.