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Friday, 12 September 2014

plot clearing continues

On to the third plot which still has a few rows of spuds in. Hoping to have all ready for manuring in a few weeks.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Back to the plot

I don't know how other allotmenteers have seen this season. For ours it has been pretty dismal. A very long and wet Spring with parts of the allotment under water for weeks, then after getting on the plots to rotavate, weeks of very hot dry weather which baked the soil until a spade would hardly go in.

The plants seemed to suffer. with bean crops very poor, sweetcorn running to seed very quickly, courgettes, pumpkins etc. all producing very poor crop. the peas did produce a reasonable crop. The potatoes did quite well but then got hit with wireworm so lots coming up riddled with holes.

The fruit trees also failed miserably, the apple did not produce a single fruit.

I have been drawn away from the plots for several weeks but I am now getting back to get them under control. A couple of beds being cleared of top growth of weeds ready to winter dig.

Oh well I guess that's gardening, let's all hope for a better season in '15.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A little de-weeding

Despite the poor weather stuff is growing, spent an hour getting rid of some weeds to tidy up the plots this morning.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

More Planting Out...

This morning I put in Globe Artichoke Plants, Borlotti bean seeds, Bright Lights Rainbow Chard plants and Cavalo Nero plants. I think this just leaves peas, Watermelons plants and then anything else we can think of to fill up the remaining space.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Planting Out

As more stuff becomes ready it's off to the allotment to plant it out. So today it was French Beans which we decided to plant tepee style rather than in a row this year, Broad Beans and Outdoor Cucumbers.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

2nd visit today

With rain predicted this weekend, I returned to the plots and planted Patti Pans, Pumpkins and Courgettes, Yellow Courgettes and also gave the shed roof another layer of new felt as it began to leak this winter. A very satisfying day overall!

Looking Good

With the help of the Rotavator and some perspiration both allotments are fully cultivated. I think this is a landmark as there has always been parts of the plots that needed attention up to now. The Rotavator must be easing the pressure!

Very pleased with the leeks put in in October and overwintered, in the last couple of weeks they have put on a spurt and are looking very healthy.

Today I earthed up the potatoes to complete things for the time being. At the weekend we will be putting in loads of plants, nice to know the plots are all ready to take them.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Making a double bay compost bin

After sprucing up our small garden and putting in a new greenhouse we decided that a better method of composting was called for. We had always used one of those large green bins with a snap on lid and I found it to be a bit of a pain as usually I ended up having to turn it upside down to get at the composted waste. Also it proved almost impossible to turn the compost over for aeration.

What is needed I decided is a nice double bay bin with removable slats down the front making for easy access and the ability to turn the compost over into the second bay at the appropriate time…

So here goes, first wood shopping (rough sawn treated 100mm x 18mm x 2.4 m lengths. I found these in packs of 5 and it took 4 packs to build it plus some 25mm x 19mm for rails and some 40mm x 60mm corner posts etc.), lots of screws and a scribble on a notepad… The following pics show the build sequence. Nothing too difficult and in my view, a very pleasing end result.

The maths…. The whole thing is approx. 800mm wide with 2 400mm wide bays which are also 400mm deep. It is also approx 800mm high having 8 100mm planks. These dimensions make the most of the standard 2.4m timber lengths and leave very little waste off-cuts.

The front slats fit into slots and can be removed one by one. A small round hole drilled in each slat makes lifting them out easy. The lid is split into two so each half can be opened as required. The lids are also covered with green shed felt to waterproof the whole thing.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Our New Howard Rotavator in action at last

The ground seemed dry enough to get on with the new rotator so off I went…
It proved to be superb, tackling and completing both allotments in around an hour.

…and half a plot of seed potatoes planted in no time.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

First plot ready to rotavate

I finished cleaning the weed off most of the first allotment so it's ready to rotavate as soon as it dries out enough. I will be going on to the next plot now so everything is ready to hit in one go.

I also bought a "Chillington" builders barrow today to move the top growth to the compost heap. The pneumatic tyre is a boon on the wet ground and is really easy to push around even on rough turf and soil with a full load.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Our Howard 200 rotator has arrived!

A bit of watching and waiting on ebay turned up a bargain Howard 200 rotator. It's not exactly new but it strikes up first go, runs like a watch, everything works and it's in exceptional condition for it's age. I have even bought some authentic Howard orange paint to restore it to glory in time!

Can't wait to get it on the plots when the soil dries out a bit.

I am clearing the plots of weed and will be ready to go cultivating pretty soon!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Will this be a repeat of last year

I am sure everyone is only too aware that we have been having a spot of rain lately. Rain and rain and rain. I recall last spring was frustrating for weeks as the ground was too wet  to do anything with and planting was quite late to get underway.

The heavy downpours in the last few days and weeks have left the plots waterlogged and far too soft to  dig or prepare in any way. Plus the grass paths are constantly wet preventing any grass cutting.

A few photos below of the new ponds and moats on the plots.