Sunday, 30 November 2014

Coffee Grounds

Saturday 29th November 2014 - Picked up my sister who had collected a huge sack load of coffee grounds from Costa Coffee for me as she works opposite and knows the manager.

Coffee Ground information see this The One YardRevolution Video  NPK = 2.1 0.3 0.3

No Coffee for Slugs
http://www.independent.co.uk/property/gardening/no-coffee-for-slugs-8081384.html

Sunday 30th November 2014 - Dropped off the coffee grounds to the allotment.

Used the compost aerator to loosen up the compost bins and poured coffee grounds into holes drilled in the compost then a nice layer of grounds over the top, and I still had a flower bucket of coffee grounds left over, which are now in the greenhouse drying out.




I must admit the aerating was more about disturbing rodents than it was about making compost, but it's good practice and I will keep it up. Dalek 2 compost looks very rich and compost like and was full of red worms busy doing their thing, Dalek 3 didn't look to be as in good a condition worm wise, but it is only half full now so I must be doing something right, and Dalek 4 has only just started and I'm hoping a layer of coffee grounds and some mixed in will get it cooking and attract more worms.

I will definitely be getting more coffee grounds if I can, I just love the smell that is still lingering in the car, and from what I have been reading and watching on YouTube they are so good for the soil, plants and compost heaps, plus I'm hoping the foxes will not like the smell.

Dead mouse found in the shed, and so I had a general tidy in the shed. Lots of slug traps have been made up and are now filling a plastic box ready for the new season, or for placing under the weed membrane, once I have scattered the farm yard manure on beds 4, 7, 10,11,12 & 13, and re covered them up. The ones that I have already baited and laid on the beds are full of slugs, my theory is the more slugs I can kill now the less eggs there will be for next season.

All the comfrey that was in plastic milk bottles is now in a 5 litre plastic bottle that will not decay as quickly and has been placed in the greenhouse to try and prevent it freezing and splitting the container if we get the kind of cold spell they keep talking about.

I re primed the mouse/ rat bait boxes along the wall, then made my way home because it's that particular weekend when all the decorations and tree goes up for that event that is on it's way that we are not allowed to talk about on the forum just yet. We are more advanced on the decoration front, as I had to clear the loft because of the water leak, otherwise she who must be obeyed would never had let me out to play on the allotment today

Friday, 28 November 2014

Panting Like An Old Sheep Dog

As it's been dry today a later afternoon visit to Wyevale's to collect 6 bags of composted stable manure for £18 minus my tokens £12.50 well happy. Trip to the allotment to drop the offending bags off, two trips in the wheel barrow, should have made it 3 lighter trips me thinks as I was panting like an old sheep dog by the time I got them to the plot.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Rain Stops Play & Gets In The House

No allotment due to rain, and I hate that I can't get on down there, so I started to clear out my office a little, then my daughter informs me that her carpet is wet.

Trying to work out where and the whys and there is water flowing out of the wall at the ceiling and the wall paper has lifted off the wall. Turns out a leak in the roof just inside the wall where the roofing felt has given up the ghost.

Made a quick bodge job using a plastic cutting board to hold the felt at the lap and over the wall, so hopefully that will hold until I can get a roofer in to repair. Had to get all the x-mas decorations down to make access possible.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Slugs & Rat Traps


Swift visit to the allotment after dropping off Kelly to the job centre. I took some kitchen off cuts down to the compost bin.

On inspection both mouse / rat traps were clear of poison, and when I went to the shed to fill them up the little bu99ers had got into the shed eaten through the cardboard packaging and emptied one of the packs of poison! So I used the one that was left and filled both traps outside again.

All the slug traps were primed and spread around the allotment, some by the dalek bins, others in beds that are yet to be tucked up for winter and others under the covers to beds that have already been put to bed.
   

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Rats & Mice


I've been way to busy to get to the allotment during the week and with the early dark evenings if I can't get down there during the day on a Monday or Tuesday it just isn't going to happen.

Hit the allotment about 8:00ish and came home at  1:00

The Plan for this visit was -

    * Bed 7 Weed and re-cover bringing the potato cut weed membrane home to weld the frayed edges.
    * Bed 8 bringing the potato cut weed membrane home to weld the frayed edges, manure bed and cover.
    * Runner Bean Beds, weed and trench, then fill with leafs and a sprinkle of spent compost.

Well half of one out of 3 isn't bad I suppose. Last week I saw a small rat and the week before a mouse.



My sister saved her washing machine tablet containers for me, I don't have the heart to tell her I can't use them as small cloches as they are green..... but then I had an idea. I drew a tom and Jerry type mouse hole at either end and used the soldering iron to melt the holes and they are ideal for holding rat poison. So the runner bean beds have been cleared and two rat traps and four slug traps have been installed.

I will trench and place a layer of leaf mould and compost early next year, for the moment it was up against the wall that I saw Roland and Micky so ideal locations for the bait.
   

So having seen rodents I decided to decant the leaf mould from the right bin into the lefty bin and then went to the car park of the industrial unit behind the allotment and have filled up both bins plus I have a sack load in front to top up as they start to drop.

I took some compost with me and topped up Bin 3 with it and I cut up all the sprout leafs into bin 2 with a topping of comfrey. there appears to be some spring bulb activity in the comfrey bed that I filled with crocus, daffodils and bluebells last year. There are also four potatoes coming up in bed 8 that has the onion sets in, so I will have to get them out next visit as well.

I also harvested another tray load of sprouts and there are still lots on the stems that need to fatten up a little for that special festive dinner.
Note to self ... harvest the potatoes in the buckets next dry visit   


Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Magnificent Five

Down on the allotment from 8:30 - 1:00, nice and quiet and overcast up until the last hour when the sun came out and the fleece ended being tied around my waist to keep my back warm.  Today I took 3 black sacks of paper shredding's down to the allotment plus compost from the beetroots and the runner beans, in addition to a number of pop bottle slug traps   

Frame 2 of the runner beans is now down and the all the vegetable matter went into the bottom of dalek 4

2 Cauliflowers were harvested because the leaves were not wrapping around them and they were spotted by John when he came up to the say hello, I had not even noticed they had shown last time I looked they were nothing but leaf, in fact 6 plants still are. I'm hoping they will come to something as overwinters but if not, then it's just more material for the daleks.



I managed to get two wheelbarrows of leafs from between the gates and used them to top up dalek 3 and a layer in dalek 4. So with the last of the comfrey being shared between daleks 2,3 &4 and the leafs from the parsnips and beetroots being shared, I now have 3 and a half compost daleks on the go.
Most of the parsnips looked like the one on the right and they were dispatched to the daleks, but I did manage to grow and harvest a few good parsnips and the last of the beetroots. I also emptied the pots from the peppers into dalek 4 as the pots were a mass of roots, I knocked off as much compost and leafs with a trowel and them cut up the main root.

I have spent quite a lot of time cutting up the compost contents, but its worth it as the daleks work much faster with well chopped up material to work with.

Some of the comfrey I had cut has come back I'm sure it's only because it's so mild and it has not twigged that it's winter now. 



Bed 1 Put to sleep for Winter

Plan for the next visit is:-

   
* Bed 7 Weed and re-cover bringing the potato cut weed membrane home to weld the frayed edges.
   
* Bed 8 bringing the potato cut weed membrane home to weld the frayed edges, manure bed and cover.
   
* Runner Bean Beds, weed and trench, then fill with leafs and a sprinkle of spent compost.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

During the Winter ....

I will be updating this blog with what happened after the post below

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Dropped off wife then went to pay my ground rent for the allotment for next year at the council offices. Then on to the site for two and a half hours of fun in the sun.... yep it was sunny and warm.

I took 3 pumpkins that the kids had bought for their annual Halloween carving competition down to the allotment and copped them up and added to the compost dalek 2 and 3, along with paper shredding's. 

Washed the green algae off the outside of the greenhouse whilst it was warm and we still have water turned on. disconnected the water system so it can drain. Noticed that the two water butts either side are all ready full from the rain we have had.

Harvested more been pods for seed and cut back runner bean frame 2 and topped up the incinerator



Slug beer traps around the compost bins and in bed 8 with a blue pellet of death trap the overwinter spring and onion sets. plus I added a blue pellet of death trap in the grapes bed




Weeded Bed 2 and put it to sleep for Winter with a fine sprinkle of blue pellets of death under the grey plastic DMP then placed a sprout hoop frame on to hold it down and a milk bottle sand/soft brick in each corner.

Sack of rubbish brought home to dispose off, on my way to the car I saw John the site agent next door who has kindly had words with his boss and has put by some hoarding and post to one side, so we can install a fence and increase the drop off and pick up area. He is waiting for the van to be emptied and then we can pick up the ply sheets and posts and crack on with the work.     

Monday, 3 November 2014

Modified Slug Traps

Up early and decided to make some modified versions of the pop bottle slug traps as I intend to wage war on the little blighters, the more I can kill the better. So rather than the arched openings at 1/3 points around the bottle I cut and folded and then trimmed to form a little canopy to stop the rain getting in on pellets or diluting the beer.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Up early and it started to rain, so I waited and it stopped, got to the allotment about 8:15.

It had been raining but was dry. Managed to fill dalek 2 back up to the top with the compost from home and top up dalek 3. Really nice to see the level in dalek 2 drop on each visit and I must be doing something right as there were lots of nice red worms visible.


The pepper plants have had it and I have lost a few peppers to rot and attack but I still managed to come away with a few good specimens. Is it worth all the heartache trying to grow them, well yes I think it is, the wife or one of the kids bought me some two years ago and by the end of the season I just about had a plant, so it a challenge to see if I can do it and I have.

Bed 3 got cleared of weeds and more large stones and glass when it got turned over and raked flat, then it got covered with a sheet of weed membrane which I weighted down with PVC edging and a blue water pipe sprout hoop made for next year.

I managed to cut back the foliage and dry runner beans from the first frame and have filled the incinerator with it so it can dry out and then I can burn it. Then suddenly heavy rain, so a retreat to the greenhouse and runner bean extraction from pods took place, and the cutting up of all the pods for the compost heap.

I had a small tidy of the greenhouse and emptied sand from some damaged soft bricks into the metal trays to dry out, then when the rain slowed down a little I made a dash for the car, and came home around 12ish