Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Back from Holiday

After nearly a month away from the plot, I come back to find things not as bad as I feared. The weeds are, of course, high but the raspberries are looking good, as are beetroot and carrots. The runner beans seem to have recovered and are starting to bear. Lots of courgettes and marrows.  Don’t think the peas made it though.

Picked some potatoes. Lovely.

Need to get down for a decent long visit and sort a few things out, especially plant some of the strawberry runners.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Green things growing

And not just weeds. The French Beans I sewed last week, have already popped their heads out.

Allotment 004Allotment 002 

Allotment 001Also, a few strawberries have come through, I’m pretty sure there have been more, but it looks like some pest is getting them, despite the net. Also the first of the raspberries have appeared and are ripening nicely.

I’ve been along every morning to water and all is looking good. I sewed some more carrots yesterday. Hopefully these will germinate.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Back at it!

After a month or so of short and sporadic visits, resulting in the loss of runner beans, carrots and leeks, I’m back at it.

I made it down on Sunday to scythe the weeds and cut the grass,  and I’ve been down 3 times this week before work.

With the beautiful weather it’s been wonderful. Planted some more runner beans, courgettes and cucumbers, sewed some French beans, weeded onions and strawberries.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

What we have here is a failure to germinate

Slightly better weather this weekend. I managed to get down on Sunday morning and got the grass cut. All looking much better. There’s some frost damage to the potatoes. But the big disappointment is that the carrots, leeks and beetroot sowed a few weeks ago haven’t germinated.  Hopefully, with better weather this week, we might see some action.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Two wet weekends

The last two weekends have been wet, and limited my visits to quick  checks to see how the allotment is doing. Everything seems to be growing well especially the weeds. I scythed  a lot down last week, but haven’t been able to make it over with a mower yet. Hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, 26 April 2010

A Busy Day

Two visits today, the first with Beth and Mary, the second by myself.

I managed to dig over the bed 7 which, although covered, was very weedy. This bed will be host to runner beans, peas. Forked over bed 1 and planted a row of leeks, and a half row of carrots and a half row of beetroot.

Onions and Garlic are starting to show. No sign of potatoes as yet. Raspberry canes starting to come through. Rhubarb is doing very well.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Flying visit

Only had time for a flying visit this weekend.  I made it over for an hour, early on Sunday morning. Watered the garlic, onions and potatoes, and brought home a few stalks of rhubarb.

The weather has been very dry since I put the potatoes in, I’m slightly concerned, that it will affect them.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Busy Easter week

It didn’t start off too good weather wise, so I didn’t get down to the plot till Easter Monday. I made up for it with 5 hours of digging. Beds 3 & 4 and the new potato bed (5 & 6) were dug over and weeded. Back down again on through the week to plant the garlic(which should have been in ages ago) and onions.

Back down again on Friday for another dig over the potato bed, yet more weeds, and again on Saturday to plant the potatoes.

We picked two lots of rhubarb and have had two very nice crumbles.

At home, I planted out a plum tree.

Next jobs needed:

  • replace some dead strawberry plants.
  • dig over beds 7, 8 and hopefully 9.
  • clear out large “compost” heap. This is really just a heap of weeds and turf. I’d rather have the space for bed 9.
  • A friend is giving us some gooseberry bushes so I need to find somewhere to plant them.
  • Also really need to get some planting going in the greenhouse – I’m running a bit late on this.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Dig! Dig! Dig!

After missing out last week due to family commitments, I was determined to get down this weekend and despite the showery weather, I managed to put in 5 hours or so on Saturday. Some sitting in the shed out of the rain was necessary, but by and large a very productive day.

  • Finished digging over the bed for the potatoes. This will still need forked over again before planting.
  • Dug over last year’s potato bed. This will be split into two beds, one for beans and peas, one for garlic & onions.
  • Forked over and manured bed 2 in preparation for Brussels Sprouts.

Lots of digging. Very tired by the end.

On Sunday, I cleared out the greenhouse at home, and planted a plum tree in the garden.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Spring has sprung!

Yesterday, it really felt like spring has arrived. The weather was so good I got a touch of sunburn on my head.

The whole family headed to the allotment and watched me dig. Well, actually everybody did help a bit.

I managed to get another bed and a half dug over, Hannah my wife dug a bed, the girls found half a dozen parsnips. Also cleared out some brambles from the top of the plot, and fixed the raised bed round the rhubarb.

I need to remember to take a pump to pump up the wheelbarrow tyre.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Better Weather

March has arrived and with it better weather. It was bright and sunny, but still cold. I headed to the allotment myself, and got lots done.

  • Fixed some wind damage – blown over rain barrels.
  • Dug over bed 1.
  • Got 10 barrow-loads of manure.
  • Distributed some manure to the raspberries and rhubarb.
  • Started digging over bed 2.

The digging was a bit of hard work and I’m really suffering for it now.

Also, got some new neighbours in the empty plot next to me. They have started well and cleared a lot of bramble growth. They will still need to dig the roots out. But a good start, let’s hope they keep coming back.

My potatoes are chitting in the porch, some growth started.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

No Improvement in the weather

Still cold and wet, with snow showers occasionally.

Had another trip to the allotment with Heather and Mary. I tried to do a bit of digging, but it was too wet really. Contented myself with some weeding of the raspberry bushes.

I also finally got around to measuring the plot, 20ft by 94ft. I used GrowVeg.com, who have a rather excellent planning tool. I plotted out my plot as accurately as I could. Then chose my which veg was going where, based on crop rotation from last year. The GrowVeg planner should help with this for next year as I think it helps with the crop rotation planning.

It also provides a planting/harvesting calendar based on your plants. I need to go through this and work out a monthly task list.

GrowVeg is £15 a year, I’m going to look at it a bit more, before I commit, but I think it might be worth it.

I’ve got my seed potatoes in egg boxes in the porch chitting away. Hopefully, weather permitting, be ready to plant the earlies in a couple of weeks.

Let’s hope for some drier weather.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Cold & Wet.

Another cold, wet weekend with snow on Saturday, luckily it didn’t lie.

Went to the allotment on Sunday with Heather and Mary, who were excellent little helpers.

I finally pruned the raspberries, hopefully not too late. I’ve also realised that I had planted them in a different order than I thought.

I have Malling Minerva, an early variety. Glen Ample, a summer variety and Joan J an autumn cropper.  Anyway, they are now all pruned. I need to weed them, then mulch them down with some manure or compost.

I also got a wheelbarrow of woodchips for the strawberry bed to cover the black sheeting. I’ll probably need to get another couple next time I’m over.

I started to dig over one of the beds, before rain called a halt. While doing that I dug up 4 parsnips that I had missed before. Two average sized ones, and a couple of monsters, the largest being 625g (1.3lb).

mobile 002

To do:

  1. More woodchips
  2. More manure
  3. More black sheeting
  4. Chit potatoes
  5. Fix greenhouse window
  6. Clean out Greenhouse

Monday, 8 February 2010

Hiding Out


Whilst over at the allotment yesterday, the rain came on pretty hard, and Beth and I hid out in the shed and had a cup of tea. Best cup of tea of the day. (oh, the biscut tin has the remnants of last years seeds, no biscuts I’m afraid).

A wet visit

I headed over yesterday, with Beth my 7 year old. It was cold and wet, but I dug over one of the beds, and turned over one of the compost heaps.

Bed 1

Last year had Jerusalem Artichokes, sweetcorn, courgettes and cucumbers.

Grass has encroached over it, needs dug over and weeded. Still has some Jerusalem artichoke.

Bed 1

Bed 2

Last year, Brassicas including Brussell Sprouts. cleared out and dug over.

Bed 2

Bed 3

Last year, potatoes, courgettes and cucumbers. Currently covered with manure.

Bed 3

Bed 4

Last year, Cabbages and cauliflowers.

Bed 4

Bed 5

Last year, lettuces & parsnips. Currently covered over.

Bed 5

Bed 6

Last year, Runner Beans. Little Gem lettuces in the wooden bed.

Bed 6

Bed 7

Last year - Weeds

Bed 7

I’m currently working on a proper crop rotation plan for next year.

This year’s seeds

  • Beetroot – Boltardy
  • Broad Bean – Bunyards Exhibition
  • Brussels Sprout – Clodius
  • Cabbage – Hispi F1
  • Calabrese – Samson
  • Carrot – Flyaway F1
  • Cauliflower - All The Year Round
  • Chard
  • Climbing Bean – Blue Lake
  • Courgette – Astia F1
  • Florence Fennel – Chiarino
  • Garlic – White
  • Gherkin – Bimbostar
  • Leek - Musselburgh
  • Onion – Stuttgarter
  • Parsnip – Archer
  • Pea – Kelvedon Wonder
  • Pea – Mangetout  Delikata
  • Potatoes - Arran Pilot (First Early)
  • Potatoes - Desiree (Maincrop)
  • Radish – French Breakfast
  • Radish – Zlata
  • Runner Bean – Scarlet Emperor
  • Salad Leaves Baby Leaf Seed Mix
  • Spinach – Hector F1
  • Spring Onion – White Lisbon

Thursday, 4 February 2010

An unexpected visit

I unexpectedly found time for a flying visit on Saturday. The sun was shining, but it was seriously cold. This is a shot of the ice on the water trough.


I didn’t have time to do much.

  • pinned down sheeting on strawberry bed that had come loose.
  • covered up another bed with sheeting.
  • weeded round raspberries.
  • dug up some artichoke.

I have a little little shopping list:

  • More black sheeting
  • More strawberry plants?
  • Manure
  • seeds & potatoes

I also need to take over more empty plastic milk bottles as weights for the sheeting. And most importantly a tea cup.

I need to get lots of wood chip for the paths and to cover the strawberry bed.

We’ve got little planned for the upcoming weekend, so hopefully I’ll manage a longer visit.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Interruption in Service

Thanks to the terrible weather, birthday parties, and visiting friends, I haven’t been back since the 3rd, and I don’t think I am going to make it next week either. I am feeling very frustrated.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

First Visit of 2010

After last year’s pitiful postings (1), I’m going to try to do better this year. Also made it to the allotment three months earlier this year.

A quick visit today, picked some sprouts and a globe artichoke, covered up a couple of beds with black sheeting. I’m using old plastic milk bottles filled with water to weigh them down.

Water barrels were frozen over, and so was the water trough, ice an inch thick.

IMG_0150 IMG_0151

Priority tasks:

  1. get wood chips and cover strawberry bed
  2. and paths
  3. get more manure
  4. cover more beds
  5. order up seeds
  6. fix broken window in greenhouse at home
  7. clean out greenhouse