Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Possible Hosepipe Bans


Hosepipe bans could come into force across England from next month if current dry weather continues, creating drought conditions.

The National Drought Group, which includes representatives from the water industry, farmers and government, will meet on Tuesday to discuss ways to mitigate water shortages. That could include local hosepipe bans and calls for households to cut down on non-essential use.

Most of England is already in prolonged dry weather status, the stage before a drought is declared. The last drought was announced in 2018 and stretched into the following year.

Southern Water has already made a drought permit request with the Environment Agency, which is likely to lead to a hosepipe ban in the area. The company has asked its customers to reduce their usage as much as possible to protect water levels in the River Test.

Monday, 25 July 2022

More Planting Membrane


In using the end of the roll of weed membrane the edges are not as sealed as good as they were at the start of the roll and I've been having to trim the edges of the roll and cutting out the 1.2m width out of the 2m roll less some trimming and tidying up. 

As I'm nearly at the end of putting in the paths on the plot I don't need the offcuts for under the 800mm and 600mm paths and thought I would make an alternative planting membrane for the two 2.4m x 600mm beds that I have on the plot. 

2.4m x 0.6m Planting Membrane sheet with 16 Holes at 300mm x 300mm with 150mm to the edge of the sheet, until the wind got so bad again that I gave up fighting the weed membrane.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Planting Membrane


No allotment today as there is no cover to allow me to go so I ended up trimming up some of the older blank membrane sheers and creating a 1.2m x 1.2m Planting Membrane sheet with 9 Holes at 300mm x 300mm with 300mm to the edge of the sheet, until the wind got so bad that I gave up fighting the weed membrane.

These half bed sheets will be able to be mix and matched on a full bed or used on the Square Foot Gardening 1.2m x 1.2m or 4ft x 4 ft beds.

The metallic silver Sharpy really pops on the black weed membrane, The lid used as a template for the holes measures 85mm diameter.

Friday, 22 July 2022

Getting More Sweetcorn In

The bed cleared of weeds yesterday had the second sowing of sweetcorn transplanted in place and they were watered in. We will either get a late crop or some greens for compost heap, so win win whatever the outcome really.

Square Foot Gardening Bed 2 Celery Aubergines and now Mini Muncher Cucumbers after weeding. The celery isn't really growing very much but I really hope they come to something as I've never managed to grow celery to maturity.

View on the three of the 4 Mini Muncher cucumbers from Suttons that germinated. Grow little cucumber grow and show me what you have got to give at £1 a seed.

Square Foot Gardening Bed 2 Celery Aubergines and now Mini Muncher Cucumbers. after weeding. The celery isn't really growing very fast. it could be the heat and lack of watering that is stunting them so I gave the bed a really good watering.


The bed was re covered with debris netting to stop Basil and his mates from digging it all up.


Active Compost bin filled to the brim once again with a mixture of Comfrey, spent compost, shredded paper and Rhubarb leaves all watered in layers. The Compost Meter went to the edge of Active just before I put the lid back on.


Rhubarb harvested and the leaves added to the second active Dalek along with some cardboard, spent compost.


When I arrived John was up the tree on plot 3 and was taking out some really long branches. I pinned the authorisation for John's actions on the notice board and gave him a copy just encase the old tenant of the now vacant plot turns up again.

The old tenant was issued a termination notice and should have removed all his stuff and returned his key back in May, but he has visited the site and talked to some of the plot holders and was watering the overgrown plots despite them not having anything growing on them or being his anymore! 


Broccoli bolting and gong to seed in the heat.


Broccoli that I should harvest next visit


Cabbages looking good but I need to remove the small hoop frame and replace it with a larger one off one of the onion beds.


They have only been in a day but the best 10 of the 12 Cauliflower Depurple from Suttons are not looking promising after being heat stressed and don't appear to be bucking up. Only time will tell if these are going to come to anything.


Plots 12 and 13 are looking good this year despite the extreme heatwave we have had.


So impressed with what Lee and Michelle are doing clearing what has been a historical rubbish heap and dumping ground for weeds on the site for at least the last 10 - 15 years if not longer. 

All the nettles were removed and replaced with sun flowers this year as work on clearing and excavating the heap continues. Lee is gradually excavating all the other dross, metal, plastic pallets and all kind of things from the heap in a very methodical time team type fashion. 


The Raspberries have gone bonkers they need pulling back so one can actually get into the paths between the different varieties. and the edge of the plot needs to be weeded and more clearly defined in some way shape or form. 

The Hawthorne bush in the left of the entrance needs cutting back and stacked ready for burning come October.

Thursday, 21 July 2022

A couple of hours on the allotment this afternoon watering and getting a bed of 10 Cauliflower Depurple from Suttons that the heatwave has knocked back a bit into the ground. Clearing weeds from a bed and getting it ready for sweetcorn to go in on a future visit. Watered the Beetroot bed that is now showing seedlings. Cobs forming on half of the sweetcorn that are not really tall enough yet but the red grapevine is growing well and establishing itself.

Bed before clearing, if I had known we were going to have 40C days I would not have bothered warming the ground up!

Bed after weeding and removing the solar tents ready for a late sowing of sweetcorn next visit.

Grapevine doing well


The best 10 of the 12 Cauliflower Depurple from Suttons are in the ground now it's sink or swim time for them


Half of the sweetcorn have already developed tassels and corns and they aren't really tall enough yet. bad year for sweetcorn from the looks of things.

I did manage to get connected to both taps for plot 1 and Plot 1A so although a short visit with the sprinkler at full capacity and moving it around I managed to water most of the plot. 

Watering the Space Saver & Garden

 


The Max. temperature recorded yesterday was 69.4C with the door open and debris netting covering the front of the Norfolk Space Saver Greenhouse.


First thing this morning I watered all the tomatoes in the back garden and the Greenhouse and the plants out on the bench using the water in the pop bottles that I filled up yesterday, and then filled them all back up so they can breath and warm up for 24 hours before being used during tomorrow watering session.

If you let water sit for at least 24 hours before using, it will allow the chlorine and fluoride normally found in municipal water to dissipate first. Ice cold water from taps will cause root shock, which may lead to permanent root damage, leaf drop and other problems.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Hottest Day in the UK


During the most uncomfortable day, the computer newsfeed on the computer told the story.

As predicted 40C was reached and exceeded 


There were a number of fires that started today, there was a map that showed them all on the newsfeed. We are used to seeing fires in the USA and Australia and they have been happening in Europe during these excessive hot weather periods. 


So many images of so many homes lost to fires in the UK today 


Not just the UK but images of Reservoirs around the world with reducing levels of water. In Wales which gets more than it's fair share of storms snow and rain a village that was flooded to form the Reservoir was once again exposed. 

So many have drowned today in bodies of water, rivers and quarries trying to keep cool! 


The human race can't ignore the warnings we have had for many years.

It was obviously not a day to be out in the sun working on the allotment. 
I missed it and hopefully it missed me as much.

Monday, 18 July 2022

Not like the summer of 76

 



There have been people on Facebook saying the extreme weather is being exaggerated and that the heatwave in 1976 was just as bad.
Above are the global heat anomaly maps from June 1976 and June 2022.
Go to https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/ and see for yourself the impact we’re having on the planet.

Unless we all tackle climate change, it will get worse.



Sunday, 17 July 2022

Watering Visit

 


I went to the allotment with the tap splitter I had picked up from Wilko and watered as much of the allotment as I could between 5:15 - 6:15. The plot holder on plot 13 turned up just after I arrived so I took off the single adaptor on the tap and fitted the twin tap splitter. It reduces the water pressure with two people using a single tap but most plot holders are watering early morning or later in the evening.

This tap splitter didn't leak like the one that was taken off the plot 13 dip tank and tap. I also managed to get my watering system connected to the tap on plot 3 so I could water plot 1A and plot 1at the same time, and this was the only reason I managed to water most of my allotment in a little over an hour.

I managed to pull two sack loads of weeds from plot 1A whilst down there. Hopefully everything in the ground will survive the next couple of days during the heatwave and I will be looking at perhaps going back down Tuesday night to water again.

I have lost some plants that were on the table behind the plot 1 greenhouse that were due to be planted out, but one expects a few not to make it during a heatwave and when it's not possible to get to the allotment on a regular basis to water.


Heatwave!



30C today so I didn't go to the allotment this morning as it was going to be just too hot and sunny to actually get anything done. The BBC are now predicting 40c for Monday & Tuesday. I can see very little being done the early part of next week.


Headline

An exceptional hot spell on Monday and Tuesday leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.

What to expect

  • Population-wide adverse health effects experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to serious illness or danger to life. Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.
  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines will be required
  • High risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, potentially leading to localised loss of power and other essential services, such as water or mobile phone services
  • Significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays


Further details

Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking, temperatures are likely on Monday, then again on Tuesday. Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm for the UK, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Temperatures are expected to drop away from Wednesday onwards.


The forecast for the allotment site this week ..


and the following week.  There doesn't appear to be much chance of overcast or rainy days for the next couple of weeks. 



Friday, 15 July 2022

OK I'm just a weak seedaholic...


I had to have my diabetic eye screening today at the health centre at the back of the high street and parked in the car park opposite. If I'm paying £2 for between 30 minutes and 2 hours then I'm definitely going to walk to Wilko as they have just started their 50% on seeds.

Warning not all the seeds on the Sutton display board were 50% off as the lady filling the gardening area said they keep sending her more and more seeds and they are not all 50% yet!

She checked all the ones I had selected and only a couple were not 50% yet so they went back on the peg board. Timing on the wilco seed sale is everything they will go down to 30p for Johnsons and 10p for Wilko but the range of what's available will not be as extensive by then 



I resisted as much as possible but you can never have too many of some seeds. Some bugger took the splitter on the tap and di[p tank I use so I picked a couple up to replace the stolen one., and a spare. I will be using Furnox LS-X Leak sealer to make it difficult to take off and seal the joint this time

Sainsbury Gardening Items Reduced


Told the wife I needed to get some bread to make lunch as I forgot to pick some up when I went to ASDA this morning and decided to visit a store I don't usually go to because we are in that time of the year when they start reducing their gardening items .....


Some decent reductions to be had on fertiliser and weedkiller. 

ASDA Gardening End of Season Sale

 

My Daughter sent me the photo above and I had to visit this morning to see if there were anything worth buying 

And there were, some replacement watering can roses, the foxes on the plot like to chew mine or pull them off an play with them. Some additional blank labels, a couple of hose ends and a couple are bound to not survive putting away over winter this year. A high vis dibber that will be harder to loose or leave out on the plot and some large Bamboo labels that I can use my wood burner on for the beds. Not forgetting a second 1.5 litre kettle for my two ring gas stove to make heating up water to hydrate coir faster or make more than two cups of coffee at a time.  

Planting Membrane

Before the sun came down the garden this morning and the timber decking was in shade, I worked on a Planting Membrane 2.4m x1.2m with 18 planting holes at 400mm x 400m centres.

I laid it out on the timber decking so It can get warm and flatten out in the sun before folding up and putting in my rubber shopping tug for taking down to the allotment on my next visit.



Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Join the Army



I took the new Dalek (second in from the left) to the allotment and introduced him to the others in my Dalek Allotment Army. He is a little greener that the others a bit like his chum behind him who is also a new recruit.

The Active Dalek (second in from the right) took the tug of grass my sister dropped off to me yesterday and a Bucket with lids worth of spent compost which was watered in layers and then topped off with a layer of comfrey.


I watered the potatoes and the beetroot and Square Foot Gardening Bed. Harvested some Raspberries, first early potatoes and a cucumber, bagged up some dried onions and came home before lunch.


One squared flower buckets worth of Sharps Express first early spuds


Raspberries, spuds and my first cucumber from the plants John gave me.