Thursday, 26 April 2018

Baby Groot

I saw him, and had to get one with the last of my Birthday Money - I Am Groot !

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Cheap Weed Killer

Me thinks a visit to B&Q to stock up on weed killer may be in order this weekend having just received their flyer for prices between the 27th April to 24th May. 

The saving between 3L Resolver 24h between the two is enough for an additional Litre with 96p change !

Monday, 23 April 2018

Drop off & Cover Up

A swift visit to drop off the weed membrane that's had been cut to size and another bucket of shredded paper and cut up cardboard.

Update the Notice board with the Newsletter and Allotment Rules and cover up the area by the wall where I trimmed the couch grass and weeds with a sheet of weed membrane.

A visit to the site manager at Redrow next door to inform him that the electrician working on the composting WC had not locked the gate when he had finished, and ask when they will be finishing off the area by the concrete gravel board in the car park.  

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Tummy Bug Stops Play

As the title says, I couldn't get to the allotment as I didn't want to be too far away from a WC. Not happy I had so much planned for the day, I did manage to cut some more weed membrane for the paths between visits to the smallest room in the house. 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Compost and Weeds

The areas of the new plot that I have not covered with membrane were looking a little shaggy last week when I visited the plot yesterday to add grass clippings to the Dalek, so this morning after I picked a huge sack of grass from my sister to drop down to the allotment feed the Dalek, I used the new grass trimmer and I have to say I'm very happy with how it performed and how long it lasted.   

There is bind weed coming up long the wall so that had a dowsing with weed killer, as did the nettles and weeds in front of the wall and hawthorn bush that needs to be removed.  

I'm thinking as I have the kerb stones I should perhaps define the edge at the bottom of the plot better than it is at the moment and so that idverde can trim to it when they cut the grass. 

The Bluebells are flowering and the Comfrey is growing and will dwarf the bluebells just about the time the flowers die.

The Apple Trees are in blossom and are looking bright and beautiful against the wall 

The First Early Spuds are starting to show in the pots so I will need to top them up and hope we don't get a frost 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Marigolds & Membrane

Last night I sowed 49 marigolds directly into the second Agralan Compact Plug Plant Trainer and they are in the Space Saver Geen house. With there being no Spring and a Jump straight to summer (for this week at least) the Carrots in the external Grow station have also now been moved to the Space Saver. I cut 5 number 3m lengths of Weed Membrane and marked one up in third strips to used for paths and managed to get everything away before it got dark

This mornings one gardening thing before work was to cut the weed membrane with the soldering iron so that I have some to hand when I start digging and weeding the new plot hopefully on Sunday. I managed 3 x 0.666m wide x 3m long strips, 2 x 1.2m wide x 3m strips and 2 x 0.8m wide strips. The sun takes time to come around the side of the house in the morning and I managed to get three of the five cut rolls trimmed before the direct sunlight hit the patio, and I needed to start work. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Composting Materials

It's been a case of working for the allotment rather than on the allotment last night and this morning before starting work.

As the sun has finally arrived and as the grass is dry-ish I cut the lawn last night so have a sack and a half of grass cuttings waiting to be taken to the hungry Daleks on the allotment.

I also spent last evening and some time this morning finishing cutting up all the cardboard boxes that are too small to be used for weed coverage into small bite size squares for adding to the daleks as browns, especially as the greens are now starting to flow from all directions, my eldest daughter has just cut her grass and my sister is doing hers today so the stock pile of browns on the plot will be demising soon.

I also sieved some multipurpose compost and the lumpy bits are going to provide their goodness by way of two buckets one with holes in the bottom that will be placed in the other complete with the compost so that when it rains all of the goodness drains into the lower bucket to be used as a feed for my plants that need a boost.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Butternut Squash & Marrows

This mornings gardening or allotment related thing for the day before starting work, I printed new labels and have sown 5 x Waltham Butternut Squash seed dating back to 2103, 6 x Chetunao Organic Butternut Squash Seed, and 6 x Long Green Stripped Marrow seeds in three Pop Bottle Propagators.

I may not be able to get the whole of plot 1 cultivated this year but I can cover the weed membrane with a forest of trailing squash everywhere I'm not working on the infrastructure. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018


In an attempt to do at least gardening or allotment related thing a day this morning before starting work, I printed out half a dozen new labels and have sown six number of three different types of cucumbers namely Marketmore 76, Burpless Tasty Green & Piccolo Di Parigi  into self watering pop bottle propagators that are sitting on a shelf in the Space Saver Greenhouse

The temperature was rising and 32 - 36 degrees C inside the Space Saver Greenhouse this morning as the sun came around and onto the greenhouse.

By Lunch time the propagators were nicely damp and sweaty but as the sun is moving around behind the properties on our flank and behind the apple trees the left half of the greenhouse went into shade the temperature had dropped to 26.1C on the left but is still between 32 - 36C on the right that is just still in the sunlight.

The tomatoes appear to be liking the increase in temperature and more sunlight during the day.

The way the Red Onions are growing and nearly touching the tray above it looks like I will need to get them in the ground next weekend if at all possible.

Monday, 16 April 2018

New Battery Trimmer

I charged the battery and took my old strimmer to the plot on Sunday, but the battery didn't last very long at all, so I've decided to use some of my birthday cash to buy a new one from B&Q for £35.  The reviews for this are good and it's not costing the earth and it uses up to 1.6mm cutting line rather than the blades that my last one used. I've copied the details from the B&Q web site below because you never know how long DIY shops pages will be live. 

B&Q 18 V Battery Cordless Li-Ion Grass Trimmer

Product Information

This B&Q FPGT18LI Battery Cordless Grass trimmer is suitable for trimming small to medium sized gardens.

  • Cutting width (mm) - 230 mm
  • Power output - 27 W
  • Guarantee - 1 year Manufacturer

Features and Benefits

  • Comes with - 1.2 mm×3m cutting line
  • Accessories included - 1 x 1.2 mm x 3 m cutting line

Technical Specifications

Amp rating 1.5Ah
Batteries included Batteries included
Battery type Li-ion
Battery life 40minutes
Cable Length (m) 1.8 m
Material Metal & plastic
Cutting width (mm) 230mm
Handle type Soft grip handle
Model FPGT18LI
Power output 27W
How to use Trimming & edging
Voltage 18V
Weight (kg) 2.2kg
 What I did find interesting reading the manual, yes I do read the manuals is that (and I quote) 

" When the battery is charged for the first time and after and after prolonged storage, the battery will only accept approximately 60% Charge. However, after several charge and discharge cycles the battery will accept a 100% Charge. "

So I wonder as my old trimmer also uses a Li-ion battery is that what was happening, and does it need to be charged and discharged a few times to allow the batter to once again charge up to 100% capacity because it has not been used over the Winter months?

I have nothing to loose so I will be charging the battery on the old one and not chucking it away just yet as there may be life in the old dog yet! I will let you know the outcome, but if you are not getting as much life out of your battery bear the statement from the manual in mind and give it a few charges and see what happens before you splash the cash.

At a price of £35 it may be worth buying another so that I have two batteries and a spare unit, ummm something to ponder about me thinks!. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Spuds In the Ground

First order of business for the day to clear Bed 12 of the Sprout stems and roots and rake over, a layer of the environmental friendly slug pellets and cover with planting membrane.

On to Bed 11, move the onions in buckets onto plot 1 and expose the soil, the leafs had been nicely digested by the worms, another rake over and we are ready to rock'n'roll.

Again a liberal dusting of slug pellets and assemble the soil sampling auger that I use to bore the holes for the seed potatoes. 

I tend to do every other planting location and the hole is bored to the top of the auger head, withdrawn and the soil emptied into a bucket. The bottom of the hole gets a layer of compost, the seed spud is pushed into the compost and then covered to within about 25mm of the surface with compost and topped of with soil.

Kestrel 2nd Early in Bed 12 to the rear of the photo and Albert Bartlett Purple Majesty in the front row & Kestrel in the last three positions the top left corner of Bed 11. Another 3 Kestrel went into a large round spud bucket which was hall filled with compost and half filled with the soil from the excavation.

In fact most of the buckets of spuds were topped up with the soil excavated to place the spuds.  The water is now on and I connected the hose to find at least three of the heads leaking, It does not appear to matter if they are left out or removed and put away in the shed the heads don't appear to last longer than a couple of years before they spring a leak.

Reviewing My To Do List 
  1. Drill and plant the Second Early and Main Crop Spuds - Done 
  2. Get the last of the first early spuds into buckets or bags  - TBD 
  3. Onion Sets Direct Sowing & Protect with Hoops and Netting  - TBD 
  4. Shift Woodchips from the Drop Off area onto the Plot  - TBD 
  5. Cut the floor joist to length for beds  - TBD 
  6. Clear some of the rubbish from the Greenhouse.  - TBD 
  7. Clear the storage area beside the shed  - TBD 
  8. Move the composting material from behind the greenhouse to the storage area  - TBD
  9. Find watering heads to replace those leaking 
I was hoping for more progress to be honest, but I guess I just need more frequent visits and work on the little and often basis. I spent the afternoon cutting up cardboard into small critter bite size squares and filled two food buckets with lids as brown material for making compost.