Monday, 5 May 2014

Marigolds in May

Well I said this would be the year of the raised beds, and my potatoes seem to be happy in this one.  There was a very brief frost a couple of nights ago,  but luckily not long enough to do permanent damage.  As you can see I have placed the upright supports carefully at 6" intervals.

 Marigold is still there keeping an eye on things.  She does miss curly kale, but now she had rasperries for company.

 The pea enclosures made from pallets is working well.

 The brassica tunnel is also working well.  Nothing has started eating them yet, so I will delay using slug pellets until they actually start feasting on them.

 Raised onion beds looking good.

The chickens have settled in well, and today they laid 3 eggs between them....that works out at one per chicken.  They have started to lay them outside instead of in the nesting boxes, never mind, better than no eggs at all.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Happy Chickens

I have three new residents down my allotment.  Never had chickens before so it is all a bit exciting and a little daunting.  I built the chicken coop during the winter when there wasn't much else to do down the allotment.  For those who are interested, the breed is Welsummer, a large variety originating from the Netherlands.

Happy plotting.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

45 Rocket potatoes

Well I bought a 2kg net bag of Rocket potatoes from Wilkinsons because they looked pretty good.
The next day I opened the net to find 45 perfectly formed little potatoes, all about the size of an egg.

I am not bothered about chitting, so it was off to the prepared plot for planting.  I layed out 3 pallets on the bed to form a grid for planting.  Next step was to make some nice holes using a long handles bulb planter I purchased a few years ago from B&Q.  I popped the potatoes in and guess what, I had 45 holes and 45 potatoes.....well done Wilkinsons I say for knowing how many potatoes to put in the bag!

The brassicca seedlings are coming on nicely

Happy plotting.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Karmazyn Days

Well its March 4th, its sunny, and its a day to get busy down the allotment.  First job is to get the broadbean bed ready.  Set out a couple of lines, hoe down each side of the lines, and then use the 20cm interval guide to set them out.  I have set a bean each side of the line at a spacing of 20cm.  I only got as far as halfway down one line, and the bean packet was empty, so a visit to Wilkinsons is on the cards.

 Two long double rows of broadbeans,  I would guess the rows are at least 20 metres, so at my spacing of 2 every 20cm, I will be planting 200 beans per line, so that will be 400 beans....just enough.

I set the lines 24" apart, so plenty of space to walk down between the rows.  I used a 6ft length of wood with 20cm intervals marked out.

These are the peas I planted a few weeks ago.  They look quite comfortable sitting behind the glass, but sorry it is time you faced the big wide world outside, and make space for the brassicca seedlings. 

 A barrow full of peas ready to make their journey out into the big wide world.....will they survive...we will see.

 And now the new crew move into the cold frame.  March is the right time to do brassicas under glass, I just hope they will be warm enough in my make-do cold frame. We have cabbages, sprouts and cauliflower all in their seed trays.  Maybe in a couple of weeks time, the seeds will become seedlings, I will keep my fingers crossed.

Still lots of seeds to plant, but today was a good start.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

What can you grow in 12 square feet?

has set us all a challenge to grow as much as we can in a plot of 12 square feet (2ft by 6ft).  There are a few twitterers I know taking up the challenge, and you can find out a few of these brave men (and women)  on Matts Web Site Hemstra Gardens.  So if you are interested contact Matt and take up the challenge yourself.

And here is the plot details.....

Happy plotting.

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Spade a Marigold and a Curly Kale.

My Curly Kale with his friend Marigold.

Just prepared this long bed in the lovely sunshine...I'm thinking potatoes but don't hold me to it.

Another long bed on the right hand side allotment. I am going to let this bit be 'fallow' or as the farmers would say 'set aside'.  I am going to grow cover crops which will be a mix of perhaps 3 types.  Clover is a must as it is good at fixing nitrogen and producing bio-mass which this sandy soil badly needs.  I might let the cover crop grow on all year for maximum benefit, or dig it in after a few months.

My leaf muching corner.  I gather leaves in autumn and chop them with a lawn mower to help them to decompose. The leaves go in the compost bin, and supply the carbon that is essential to the composting process....without carbon compost easily becomes a sort of smelly sludge.

As I said in my previous post this is the year of the raised beds,  I am hoping for great things from them.  In the background you can see my 1000 litre water butt and my new wormery....well it is a plastic drum with a mixture of leaves, soil, compost and food waste....and worms.  I suppose I could call it a compost bin, but then compost bins are black, and this one is blue with holes drilled in it and a tap at the bottom.

Thanks for visiting my plot.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

A Big Heap of Manure

Well I am now the owner of a big heap of muck tipped from a large yellow trailer. Actually it is in joint ownership, as Dave, John and John and me all have 25% shares in the heap.  I have never used manure on the allotment before, and even though it looks like it is well 'matured' I think you have to be careful in its use, as some veg don't like it too fresh in the soil.

This is the first Pic of my allotment, or rather the right hand side one as I have a double allotment, each being 10 rods.  I built the pallet enclosures this year for tomatoes.  I will probably wrap polythene around them at some point, to keep the masses? of tomatoes nice and warm.  Haven't decided what 'brand' to grow.....only that it won't be moneymaker.  Where do I buy the seeds to grow the tasteless ones they sell in the supermarkets?  

My brand new cold frame.  The window frames are hinged but I can also access the frame from the other side.  The good thing about this frame is that it is about 3ft from the ground which makes it easier to use and raised above low ground frosts.....hopefully.  The pots have petit pois in them....I know it is too early, but I like a gamble.

The other new thing is my runner bean trellis.  It may look a bit like a green house, and nearly became one until the wind came and damaged it before I put the glass in.  Never mind, it will now serve a different purpouse.

The really new thing this year is it that it will be known as 'The Year of the Raised Beds'.  I have put off this idea for a long time but thought it a good time to start.  I am also going to have a go at #GardenConnect which involves growing as much as you can in a 6ft by 2ft plot.  I have worked it out, and this area of allotment costs me about 10p to rent per year, so as long as I grow more than 10p worth of crops I am on a winner.