Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A Thank You Recieved from PowerBee


Just before Easter Nath from PowerBee telephoned me to see how he could get his company on the panel on the left hand side of my blog. Having done some research he had managed to obtained my mobile number off my company blog/ web site. I was quite surprised when I received his call as I was expecting another Structural Engineering or Party Wall enquiry and not a gardening related call.

I explained to him that the panel on the left are basically my web resource favourites that I put there essentially for my own use, but hopefully any blog visitor/readers would also find them useful. Whilst we chatted he gave me his web site url and I was having a poke around his web site as we talked.

PowerBee sells solar powered and a few non solar powered products, and as it happens I'm a big fan of solar powered products, I already have a security light that comes on that is fixed to the canopy at the front of the house, another at the back door, and the garden is normally full of the things. There are solar lights around the decking, on the tops of the decorative trellis fence that is on top of the short retaining wall, and along the path up to the sheds at the back of the garden. There are many ornaments that have solar lights built into them.

Whilst discussing solar products and gardening / allotments, I told Nath that I bought a solar powered oxygenator that I use on Plot 1A in the comfrey water butt as it stops it from stinking and that eventually I will be buying another for 23B when I set up the butt there. It wasn't a use for an oxygenator that Nath had heard of before, and now thanks to Nath I don't have to buy one for Plot 23B.

The package was well wrapped in bubble wrap which is now being reused in the greenhouse. I notice that the products are all branded PowerBee and are well boxed, protected and look to be of a robust quality not like some of the products that I have historically bought from ebay either from China or from a UK based importer.

Talking to Nath there is no doubt he is passionate about the products he sells and assists in the specification and development of them and he takes into account that the products are going to be used in the UK which the makers of the twin PIR security light I fitted at the front of my property a couple of years ago obviously didn't, as it's really naff during the Winter months when you need it the most, and is only just beginning to function properly again now as we are at last getting some reasonable levels of sunlight. Again when it finally gives up the ghost I now have a replacement if I don't find another location for it in the meantime which is quite possible.

We did try some solar powered fairy lights for Christmas but again they were from China and there was not enough day light during December to make them work. If I ever decide to give Solar fairy or Christmas lights a go again I will certainly look at the PowerBee web site. 

As I get to unpack and play with the products kindly supplied, I will give a review of them on the blog.



Click Here to Visit the PowerBee Website

Monday, 28 March 2016

Storm Katie & Sheds

My brother-in-law says I have too much crap in my shed, I like to think of it as ballast as one has in a ship to assist in keeping it upright because when you don't and Katie hits your shed end up like his did.

OK I had to go and search for my one of my Daleks that isn't in place yet and my rubber tug plus I had to recover some DPM covering the ground, but that was after Derek and I righted his shed as he was at work



Heirloom Tomato Seeds


I belong to a seed circle, this year I shall be looking for other seed circles on the interweb thingy to try and expand my holding of heirloom or heritage seeds.

This morning I have spent some time, creating labels for my seed packs and decanting the contents from paper envelopes and zippy bags of all manner of shapes and size into my little bags that fit nicely into the plastic high business card sized boxes that I store them in.

Yes I may have OCD but it gives me the opportunity to research a little about the seeds I have received and to grab an image to put on the front of the pack, I like to know what it is I'm growing.

So I now need to decide which one or two of these I will grow this year so that I can offer them to the seed circle I currently belong to and those that I intend to join.

Black Russian             Black Sea Man
Marvel Stripes             Oleron Yellow
Summer Cider             White Cherry
Green Zebra                Yellow Pear
Limmony

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sowing Time 03 - Tomatoes for 2016

OK the clocks went forward and some stupid time this morning and the weather is high winds and sunny with showers, but my body clock work me early. Yesterday in a short dry time I managed to riddle some seed sowing compost and this morning whilst all the females in the house were still condensing snot I was sowing tomatoes in 20mm x 20mm plug plant modules in small £1 shop propagators, so far, as I have run out of riddled compost I have     

  4 x 100’s & 1000’s from my own seed stock
  4 x Beefsteak
  4 x Blush New for 2016 from Seed Circle Surbie Saved  
  4 x Cherry Cascade F1
  4 x Crimson Crush F1 Saved seed from plants supplied last year
        Yes I know they will not run true but I want to see what grows from the saved seeds
  4 x Harbinger
  1 x Heartbreaker F1 The end of the seeds, they were good last year I will grow again.
  4 x Kibitz New for 2016 from the Seed Circle Mum of Stig saved
  4 x Lizzano F1
  4 x Nectar Rose New for 2016 from Seed Circle Mum of Stig Saved  
  4 x Plum Roma
  4 x Rainbow Blend F1
  4 x Red Robin - from Saved seed they were late developers last year but nice to eat
  4 x Red Zebra - New for 2016 from HeadGardener22 from forum
  4 x Sandpipe - New for 2016 from Seed Circle Surbie Saved  
  4 x Sunset Red Horizon - New for 2016 from HeadGardener22 from forum
  4 x Sunset Terenzo F1
  4 x Sweet Mullion F1
  4 x Sweet’n’Neat F1
  4 x Terenzo F1 Hybrid
  4 x Tomatoberry Garden F1 Hybrid - I really like these but not at £3.69 for 7 seeds  
  4 x Tumbler - Out of date sow by 2014 from a seed parcel worth a try

That's 22 different types of tomato plants, yes we do like and eat a lot of tomatoes

Derek on the allotment has offered me some Gardeners Delight & Money Makers and Sweet Aperitif as he has grown so many, and my brother-in-law is likely to have some Gardeners Delight and Money Makers over as well so there is really no point me growing these two. 

Not Growing this year or at any future point Gartenperle, just didn't like the texture and the taste.

Late morning I visited the Benhill-Crescent Horticultural Society Trading Hut on their Allotment and paid my £2 annual membership. Whilst I was there I picked up a Wolf Garten Multi Change Handle Aluminium for £8.50 and a 100mm Push Pull Hoe head for £10.75.

I was going to get them at Wyevale on Saturday when I was picking up the potatoes but they wanted £15.99 for the same push pull head. Proof its worth being a member of your local Horticultural Society. 

I also picked up a half tray load of Narcissus Tete-a-Tete Cyclamineus Daffodils in pots that are currently spread all around the house for Easter and will ultimately make their way to the comfrey beds on plot 23B for some early colour next year. 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Seed Potatoes for 2016


Typically I use a soil investigation hand auger to drill  200mm - 8" holes, I then line the bottom of the bore with a mixture of compost and potato fertiliser pop in the seed potato and fill up the hole with compost. This is all done through the weed membrane which stops the weeds, keeps the moisture in the ground from evaporating too much in the dry summer and the haulm will find the heat and the light on the soil where the holes are in the weed membrane.

The photograph on the left is from my first year of owning an allotment and before I started to use weed membrane to protect the spuds and stop the weeds but it shows the hand auger I use to bore the holes. Derek our Site Rep on Spencer Road uses a fencing post auger to do the same.

It is said in some of the books I have that there are over 400 varieties of potato but here are the ones I'm growing this year. Why so many you may ask, well there was an offer on the Sarpo potatoes so I bought a trial sack plus some Sarpo Mira because Dan on YouTube has such good results with them, they always look go. 

I have some volunteers left over from last year, some have been given to me and being sick of the kids telling me why can't you grow them like the ones from the supermarket, I have looked to see what we have been consuming after last years spuds ran out and have bought those varieties to grow myself this year. So that's 11 different types of spuds this year then, which is only 2.5% of the varieties out there.    

Swift - First Early - 10 Seed Potatoes - Among the fastest maturing of the first early varieties, being the quickest to produce heavy crops of round, smooth, white-fleshed baby new potatoes

Lady Christi - First Early - 11 Seed Potatoes- Lady Christl potatoes are an excellent first early variety that bulks up early in the season and can be harvested after just 8 weeks of sowing. Derek on the allotment had too many potatoes and offered me his excess, as I didn't have many first Early spuds I accepted his kind offering

Albert Bartlett Vivaldi - Second Early - 10 seed potatoes - Can be grown on as main crop - Sweet creamy taste - Great baker - I selected these because my kids are always saying my potatoes are not as good or as large as the shop bought ones for baked potatoes and this is one they believe is better than mine have been historically.

Sarpo KifliSecond Early - 6 Seed Potatoes - Blight resistant, white skinned second early crop,  Waxy potato with a new potato flavour all year round

Estima - Second Early - 25 seed potatoes - Good Uniform Shape Ideal for Boiling and Baking - 2kg sack bought from Wyevale no chits on them. Another shop bought potato I selected because my kids said they liked the shop bought ones. I looked at the small print on the label and read that they had been grown in Norfolk by Neil Van Poorvilet Variety Estima, up until then I had never heard of the Estima variety.  

Sarpo Mira - Main Crop - 18 Seed Potatoes - 2 went manky and had to be thrown away, and actually the ones in Wyevale look healthier and better sized and more consistent than those I received directly from the Sarpo people. The original blight buster developed for hard living and recommended by Dan on YouTube after seeing his reveals and as there was an offer on them I had to try them for myself.

Sarpo Axona Main Crop - 9 seed Potatoes - Blight resistant, red skinned main crop.  Floury potato idea for chipping, mashing and baking -

Sarpo Blue DanubeMain Crop - 9 Seed Potatoes -  unusual blue skinned variety with strong resistance to tuber blight.  The perfect roastie!

Desire - Main Crop - 10 Seed Potatoes - left over from last year that have developed chits and I thought why not give them a go and plant them as originally, until I could not resist and bought more potatoes, I was light on potatoes this year.

King Edwards - Main Crop - 22 Seed Potatoes - Fluffy Texture Ideal for Baking or Roasting, the kids disagree about the baking as they prefer the Estima -  2kg sack bought from Wyevale already had short chits

Sowing Time 02- 2016


Up early and it's very windy but no rain yet so I have decided to do some sowing before the rain comes and stops play for the day.

Sowing 01-2016 Was 3 plug plant trays 72 x Onions and I managed a germination of 3 !! it could have been last years seed compost, in fact the seed compost could have been two years old, or It just could have been the seed, so a new bag of compost for sowing 02 

Sowing 02 to fill the micro Greenhouse behind the Kitchen Patio Door

Cabbages
   8 x Greyhound
   8 x Golden Acre
   8 x Hispi F1 Hybrid
   8 x Savoy Estoril F1 Hybrid New for 2016

Brussels Sprouts
   8 x Revenge F1 Hybrid
   8 x All Year Round (Purple)
   8 x Eversham Special

Cauliflower
   8 x Cheesy
   Sow by 2014 but worth a try
   8 x All The Year Round

My very first year on the allotment I grew what can only be described as magnificent Brassica, Since then I have had continued success with Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage but have never quite achieved the same success with Cauliflower and I just have given up with Broccoli  

For Christmas last year I got a Brother P-Touch Label Maker, not the green gardening one that they sell for a fortune but a standard one.

What's the difference I hear you ask? Nothing apart from the colour and the cost, because they do like to rip off us gardeners.  

Its not been used since last year but it's out again to create labels for new varieties of plants that I'm growing this year. It has to be said the labels are so good they don't fade and you get to use them for quite a few years, and I think the Brother P-Touch is a must have, and an ideal gift for allotment owners and gardeners. 

The labels from last year were recovered and wiped clean and stored in one of my seed boxes, yes I have two large plastic toolboxes full of seeds for current use and another for seeds with a use by date of 2017 & 2018 from the Wyevale seed sales

Onions
    60 x Alison Craig
    60 x North Holland Blood Red Redmate

Lettuce
    8 x Cos Italian Kitchen
    8 x Tom Thumb
    8 x Mini Iceberg
    8 x Little Gem
    8 x Iceberg
    8 x Round
 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Useful Material Scrounging continues....

Well the roof around the corner is completed and after keeping an eye for the last few days the roofers have finally put all the offcuts of the roofing battens on the drive ready for me to pick up. Which I did and took to the allotment and sorted by length. So I have already cut 8 lengths to make some mobile hoop nets

I've covered the timber up with a plastic sheet to keep it dry until I get building and have time to treat the cuts. Pea frames, and a minty frame for the beans are in my mind at the moment, and all the offcuts will be used as blocks to join the decking bed frames at the corners. Then there is the trellis for the cucumbers, Umm perhaps I should see where else they are re roofing around here. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

More Paving Slabs


As Britney Spears would say Opps I did it again....  another 30 slabs that will be used for the centre path down the allotment picked up off Freecycle today.



 First Two Car Loads
 
Final Car Load
 
Well I may as well use them to help hold the tarp down until I get to dig and weed under them.  

Monday, 21 March 2016

Bed Edging & Manure Plus More Slabs on Freecycle


A quick pit stop to B&Q this morning to pick up 9 economy decking boards, OK they are 50p each more expensive than gravel boards, but they are thicker and I'm guessing better treated with preservative.

Nine just comfortably fit in the passenger seat foot well and the hatch back just closes, so that's enough for the first 3 beds.

3 Board got cut in half so I have enough for the 1.2m long ends for the three beds. I just need to cut and treat some blocks for the corners. They were laid out nearly in place on the plot, around beds 1&2. 

A neighbouring plot holder also was delivering timber, so I was stuck whilst he unloaded so I managed to barrow three loads of horse manure to top up bed 1 in the back of the picture before I left. So with that much manure I'm thinking perhaps butternut squash in that bed this year.

When I got back to my office, there was another 30 slabs up for grabs on Freecycle so I have expressed an interest, you never know I may be lucky again.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

High Level Shelf & A Tug of Couch Grass

My sister was going to visit and lend a hand this Sunday Morning but poor thing is not very well. I got up early and visited Plot 1A at about 7:30 to water the Japanese Onions and to pick up a couple of scaffold board so that once I have dug the plot I can use them to condense the ground where the paths are going.  

I got to Plot 23B about 8:50 and my sister rang to inform me she was not up to it. So after a chat I backed the car down to the plot and unloaded a sack of grass and leafs and headed for Dalek 1 and added them together with some shredded paper and coffee grounds, So the composting has begun.

I looked like it could rain so I decided to cut the battens to go along the back, side and front and a return from front to back to support the shelf. the idea was that if it started to rain all the materials would be cut and ready for me to work in the shed.  Well the rain didn't come, but I completed the high level shelf anyway and filled it with all the plastic containers that were on the work bench.

It's nice to have the work bench back clear again. I cleared to plastic off bed 2 and used the wolf tiller to work the manure into the bed and break up the crust that had formed under the plastic. I just love that tool, yes they are expensive but they do such a good job and are a joy to use.

Then I started trimming the edge between my plot and Adams and digging over and weeding Bed 1 which I managed to just about complete by 1:00pm when it was time to come home. I have dug half the 600 path so an area 1.5. x 2.4m = 3.6 square metres which has produce a tug load of couch grass, not to mention large lumps of concrete, a timber plank and a old fashioned back door lock! in with the glass and plastic that cam out of the area.

Here is the state of play when I came home for Sunday dinner


The path between beds 1 & 2 need digging, weeding and re consolidating and Bed 2 in the distance needs topping up with the topsoil and horse manure if I can get to it before it all goes. Next job timber gravel boards and make the first two bed frames up and put them in.

Then I think it's the back of the plot to put in Comfrey Bed and the Daleks in their final positions.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Scavenging Mode


Scavenging Mode has been on top form this week, I managed to pick up a large sheet of 18mm MDF that will allow me to install another Bench and a shelf in the shed, thus being able to utilise the space better and keep the middle of the shed free so that I can get in it when it rains, its also somewhere to collect liquid gold as the allotment is so open, someone is going to notice what you are doing.

The council are re roofing the properties around the corner and I asked if I could have the timber batten offcuts - so I came away with 3 sack loads. Dropped them down to Plot 23B they will be used for the Bench and shelving and cut to fix the gravel board together when I make the Beds, and if I can get enough a trellis between the two greenhouse fruit cages for my cucumbers to climb.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Extended Lunch Breaks

Having a few extra hours down the allotment during the week has been an aim of mine for some time, I'm trying to manage my time a little better this year and keeping an eye on the weather to see if it's possible to get a few extra hours in during the week. My wife baby sits twice a week so the objective is to drop her off and continue to the allotment because I'm half way there anyway, and if possible, pick her up on the way back. That will give me and extra 3 hours twice a week which is 6 hours of additional progress.

I can afford to do this as during the soap hours 7-9 pm I can catch up on the work hours for the day. The alternative during the height of summer and the longer lighter days is to go to the allotment during the soap hours, which is likely to go down with SWMBO like a fart in a spaceship. So what have I achieved with my additional visits this week? The kerb stones to the front of Plot 23B have been installed, the daleks that were down the front of the allotment are now at the rear waiting for me to complete Comfrey Bed 2 and place Daleks 4-6 in their permanent homes.

I have taken a car load of rubbish and broken glass away from the plot and disposed of it, and I have generally tidied up getting ready to start disposing of all the stones and broken slabs etc. at the front of the allotment where the greenhouse is going to be erected.

Some paving slabs came up on freecycle Sunday but it looks like I was not lucky this time, it did say the needed to be collected Wednesday morning so I'm not booking any site visits for Wednesday, I have my bi-monthly LRUG - London Revit User Group meeting Wednesday evening anyway. 

Monday Derek the site rep was there and we had a natter and a coffee together at the end of our couple of hours of productivity and he tells me that even if you leave the shed door open the little darling still damage the shed as they don't even try the door before attacking the locks! As the greenhouse is in there, I have started to lock it.

Late Monday evening I received an email from a Frances telling me that I can have the 20-30 slabs but quantity makes an extreme difference because if they are the larger 600 x 600 mm then I will not be able to get so many in the car and the address is in Epsom about 20-30 minutes away when the traffic is not manic.

Tuesday brought another extended lunch time session on the Allotment, I was up early and getting into some work as I'm playing with work and play time. (typing this blog is also play time).

I took the frayed 2.4m x 1.2m weed membrane with me that had holes in for sweet corn and potatoes and some 2.3m x 300mm strips that I have used to cover the holes in the membrane and have laid it after levelling the area.

Stones and broken lumps of brick and concrete are holding it down and the general idea is to use the vast amount of this material on the site to build up the greenhouse area to the same level as the shed.

Wednesday I was up at the crack of dawn and picked up the first batch of slabs and got them to the allotment by about 8:30. I decided to lay them on the weed membrane as some of the strips covering the holes had been moved by the wind. I will lift and lay hardcore and sand on a slab my slab basis as I expose and discover the hardcore as I clear the plot.

So here is a video of how it looked by about 10:45 on Wednesday


     

Monday, 14 March 2016

Generate your own personalised fruit and vegetable growing calendar



If you read this blog you will know that I have recently had my birthday and the wife bought me a Palram greenhouse, my Brother in Law bought a greenhouse heater, so no excuses for not getting on with sowing seeds.

Each year over winter I create a plan and say I'm going to stick to it, this year I just popped back to gardenfocused.co.uk found my town on the first selection page, turned on the radio buttons and working back from the last frost date for my area it has produced me a preparation sowing and planting schedule for the week.

So I have a list of what I should have done in February and what I need to catch up on for the first two weeks of March and what I should be getting on with now. So if you have never visited the web site, go look and see what you should have done and what you need to do.

I have no association with this web site (apart from I use it for information) just want to point you in it's direction because it is so dam useful.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Comfrey Bed 1 and Daleks 1 - 3

A very mild day and sunny to boot. I had an early start and only my eldest daughter was awake when left around 8am for the allotment. First stop plot 1A to water the Japanese onions in the greenhouse. The skip company has gone and so have all their extra skips that was guarding the development site behind the allotment. So it looks like work is finally about to start on the redevelopment of the industrial area into residential.

I picked up the spare stripped curtain for the door so that people can't look into the shed even if the door is open and if I want to sit in the shed it will also provide some shade, or I need a pee it will provide some privacy. The vertical blind is so old that the plastic has taken up the rolled shape, and it's longer that the height of the door opening so I will need to trim it.

Two 10 litre buckets of coir are now residing in the shed and the Charley Dimmock hand tools and other hand tools are now hung on hooks below the shelf.
Tidying the shed done I set about the 1.2m width behind Comfrey Bed 1 and cleared two sacks of couch grass and managed to get the first three daleks set in their final locations. The boards behind are being used to assist me in flattening the ground ready for a layer of weed membrane and when it can be arranged woodchip.

Someone at the top end of the allotment had a bonfire which made my throat quite raw with the smoke, so a number of coffee breaks were required to assist in re lubricating. Lastly I cleared up the broken glass along my neighbours shed and dug out the first shelf unit that has been used as a fence. Who ever had the plot last really liked burying carpet ! Not just flat but has dug trenches and laid rolls of the stuff in it, why would anyone do that !


Joe and the lady on the plot behind popped over and had a chat, and I measured out the size of the shed she is thinking of getting as I had a steel tape in the car. Before I knew it, I had to clear up and make my way home for Sunday lunch. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Poundland & Wilko Gardening Visit


OK so Poundland have rebranded everything gardening as Approved by Charlie Dimmock you remember her with Alan Titchmarsh, and Tommy Walsh, in Ground Force a British garden makeover television series originally broadcast by the BBC between 1997 and 2005. 

She made gardening programs watchable to male viewers who were not really into gardening, and was the eye candy for the men as Tommy Walsh was for the women, and gardeners just like watching Alan Titmarsh, Umm I mean Titchmarsh. Yes she was bra less and didn't mind getting stuck in sweaty and dirty and I recall my old Dad thought she was smashing and made gardening sexy. Being pure of heart (cough) I just recall that her speciality was water features but her tee shirts always remained dry ;0) shame....

Well my local Poundland didn't have the Wodden-Handled Rake, there was however a plastic handled version, but at a £1 a pop I have treated myself to the other wooden handled hand tools for plot 23B and they appear to look very robust. The proof will be in the using and I will let you know how well they stand up to use.

At a £1 I may actually buy another Wooden-Handled Trowel and apply a mer you know a ham-mer and persuade it into a tighter narrower planting version using a section of broom handle and the vice to dress the steel around.

The good thing with these tools is that they are cheap and as at the moment I'm leaving the shed door open, I don't want anything too shiny and nickable in the shed. 

I bought a Window Thermometer for the new greenhouse, some Classic Style House Numbers (23) for the back of the shed as we are supposed to have the plot number up somewhere, but there were no letters which is a shame so I will have to find an "B" from somewhere.

A pack of 24 Assorted Cup Hooks for hanging items in the shed. A pair of bright orange Tommy Walsh Non Slip Gloves, so I can find them easily. A pack of 5 Tool Hooks, 2 garden scoops, A cast Iron Handle for the shed door, and a couple of 1 kg boxes of Organic Potato Fertiliser, a roll of fleece, an Onion and Potato Bag with draw string and side zip, four bags of plant clips for my tomatoes. I looked for the coir but there was none there at the moment unless they have put it next to the Weetabix which is what they did last year!

Unfortunately they didn't have any seed potatoes, so I trotted up to Wilko and ended up buying 10 x Swift, 10 x Vivaldi Albert Bartlett first early seed potatoes a 75p per bag of 5 seed potatoes. These will be started off in buckets in the greenhouse and then moved outside once the tomatoes need the space. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

The plan was three and a half hours on the allotment Monday and Tuesday as extended lunch breaks, and to catch up on the work in the evening during the wife's soap session between 7 - 9pm.  However the computer died, the hard disk was 5 years old and the average life is 3-5 years so I can't complain, just thank Christ I do regular back ups.

It took me an age to get to staples because of shear volume of traffic after 9:00 which was crazy. I took me longer to decide on which computer to buy. Then to cap it all there was no stock but I could buy it and it will be delivered next day.

So it's Tuesday I now have backlog of work and the computer will come sometime between 9:00 - 4:30 .so I'm house bound.. Doh!


The packaging for the blocks of Coir changed during the last year. The picture to the left is what the packaging looks like now unless they have changed it again so keep a look out for them in Poundland, they don't always put them with the gardening stuff I found. 

I have just hydrated two blocks. If you have never used Coir before check it out.  See my post from last year.

I will be taking them down to plot 23B and putting them in the shed for the moment. But I'm thinking of making an elevated strawberry bed like my brother in law has and the Coir will be ideal for lining the bottom of the troughs to retain moisture.

I have is a sense of panic that I should be further ahead in preparation and seedling growth that I'm trying desperately to resist.

My Brother and Sister in law have bought me a greenhouse heater for my birthday that's coming up so I will have no excuses after this weekend.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Installing a Bench Top and Comfrey Bed 1


Plot 23B this morning it was frozen and frosty when I woke up but by the time I got to the allotment the weather was mild. I had a move around in the shed so that I could fix the battens to the front flank and rear for the bench. I added a timber to the front and marked the bench on the underside and drilled holes so I could screw it down all around.

The door frame is now very stiff because of the shelf at the head of the door frame and bench at mid height just above the lock on the door.

I moved the hook and eye from the outside to the inside so that the wind does not catch the door when I'm inside the shed and I have enough light in there to see what I'm doing. I will get a chain with a hook to hold it at right angels when it's open

I've moved the little three draw cabinet over under the bench and at the moment have left the plastic storage unit on the right hand side.

Having now sorted the bench and shelf out on the left hand side, I'm thinking about adding another later on the right hand side so I can stack weed membrane and debris netting.


I then decided to see how far I could get with digging and weeding the couch grass out of the comfrey bed and installing the kerb stones picked up from freecycle a couple of weeks ago. On pulling the plastic back I was happy to see very little evidence of new weed growth.

I managed the first 2.4m x 1m and then added the decking board back 400mm from the kerb edging. I need to take a lump hammer down with me to knock the pegs in next visit. 

Now I just need the comfrey to pop its head up on plot 1A and I can get some root cuttings and start them off in loo rolls like I did with the ones I bought off ebay 3 years ago for plot 1A.

I will woodchip the path at the rear of my plot when I get some woodchip and time but that's a job for much later down the road.  


This afternoon I have been playing with the plan as one does, I don't expect to get all the beds in this year but this is my goal.

I've reworked the layout to accommodate the two cages that will be made out of the 6'x6' greenhouse frames and I get two 600mm x 1.8 bed Number 17 & 18 and I'm thinking about a framework or an arch for growing cucumbers and other climbing plants in those beds.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Two Allotments And Now Two Greenhouses




Had a result today, I managed to pick up a Palram Silver Line Polycarbonate greenhouse from B&Q for £50 for Plot 23B at Spencer Road. This is basically the same as the one I have at mill Green. Even better my wife didn't know what to get me for my Birthday and it solves a problem for her. 


I also managed to pick up two 6'x6' Greenhouse frames with base for a £5 each and the boxes were mullered.
 
 
 
The two frames with bases will be netted and become a fruit enclosure and a brassica enclosure. Neater boxes were being sold at £25 each but the Sutton Branch didn't have the polycarbonate sheets for them.