Thursday 31 January 2013

Backsaver Spade and Free Fork

Not wanting to rotavate and cut up all the bindweed etc, I've sent a cheque off for a Backsaver Spade which comes with a Fork which is what I will use the most I'm guessing. see Freds Shed for more details

Dig a row- weed well before I dig the next

I will report how I get on with it. If it ever stops raining and I can actually dig!!

SUN at lunch time - I just could not resist - up to the plot and drop off the Chicken Poo and other bits that were in the back of the car and spent 1/2 - 3/4 Hour cutting into the last remaining area of Brambles and Hawthorne (It's been really bugging me that I just could not get around to finishing it) So I left the site with a nice pile that needs cutting smaller to go into the incinerator. 

Perhaps another job for a lunch time visit (weather permitting)

God I love getting away from the office and being in the sun, as I usually eat then just carry on working. 

Evening - drying sand in the oven to go into plastic milk bottles to make soft bricks for holding stuff down on the allotment. In the morning I will fill as many bottles as I can and seal the caps with some Fernox LS-X Jointing compound and external leak sealer, so hopefully with minimal moisture in there the sand will not go green in the bottle. 

Monday 28 January 2013

Sunday 27th January 2013

Just like the BBC forecast said rain until 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 when there was a shower of rain and Jen and I had had enough by then. We cut up the material under pile 4 and place in drying bin 3 for it to dry out more ready for another burn up. 

We had a clean up and came away with four bags of rubbish for the dump, and the roses. Talking to Andy he suggested putting them in pots until I can clear the places where they are going to live. (good idea so I've done that this afternoon at home). 

Picked up some pots from the garden centre on the way home, and could not resist cheap chicken poop and some more seeds, the missing celery and some sweetcorn (not on the plan but something that really grows well on our site I'm informed).

Plcture below looking up to the shed. Two newly constructed leaf bins on the left, with all the bags of leafs behind until I can clear where the leaf bins are going to end up.  

The yellow lines that go up to the shed will be the path down the centre of the plot

Monday 21 January 2013

Paving Slabs for Paths and Patio Area

Captains Log Saturday 20th January 2013

Up early (still dark) and loaded up the car with the two leaf stores and six bags of frozen sand I picked up from Jon via freecycle, to go to the allotment and hit it as the sun came up.

Back home to pick up the first batch of paving slabs for the paths and patio area and unloaded from the car and took to the site. – Keith was already there looking at his site and helped me unload and we laid them our in their final-ish locations over the carpet and plastic.

We then collected the remainder in both cars, and broke one in the process, so now 43 slabs. These have been added and stacked near to their final location. – Went home for a very late lunch. 

Then Jen and I picked up our daughter from work and returned as the sun was setting to burn all of the now dry tree and bramble/ weeds that have been in the drying bin (see 3 in the picture in below) – There is a really frustrating small area of Hawthorne and Brambles left at location 1- the pile at 2 has gone and the huge pile at 4 is greatly reduced.

Had to be said it was the best nights burning we have had and it lasted from 5 – 6:45 until we had used up all the material in the drying bin, and I’m left with both incinerators half full with ash. We have also exhausted the 2 boxes of paper and cardboard that we took to assist in keeping the flames rampant.

If the rain holds off Sunday morning like the forecast, we want to get down there to cut up the material under pile 4 and place in drying bin 3 for it to dry out more ready for another burn up. It will be soooo good to have a clear site to actually start digging.

I’m having real problem with my knee and I’m looking at the automatic shovel / fork as perhaps means of minimising the stress when digging the site. Anyone out there had experience of actually using one?

Sunday 20 January 2013

Rescued the potatoes from the shed

Friday 18th January - I rescued my potatoes from my shed on Friday night after reading a thread on the forum and lost a few to the frost - but they are now on the draining board in my Mums kitchen and will be the last thing to go.

Saturday 19th January - There being snow everywhere and not really wanting to take the car to the roads, I spent most of the day building two leaf mould compost cages in my Dads old workshop - making use of the space and the bench and vice. It was nice being in there working as we are hoping to complete the sale mid February and then I will not be able to go back in there after 48 years (we moved in when I was 7)

Wednesday 16 January 2013

On the way home from a meeting in London

Had to go to a meeting in Battersea and went by train - on the way back I missed the connecting train by 2 minutes so rather than wait another 30 on a cold platform decided to walk home which happens to be down Sutton High Stree and past Wilkinson

Ended up carrying

3 seed tray inserts with 15 cells
3 seed tray inserts with 40 cells
6 heavy duty seed trays
6 Propagator Tops
50 plant labels with pencil
20m of galvanised garden wire (for the roses)
3 pairs of gardening gloves

Shame Wilkinsons was at the start of the walk home  ohmy

Monday 14 January 2013

Paving Slabs for Paths and a Patio Area

Taking down the plastic shed in my Mums old house as my sister is going to have it and lifted the 44 slabs that went under it, around it and the path to it. My old Mum could not make it up the bank and steps to the timber shed at the back of the garden.

Leaving the people that are going to buy the house a large bag of grass seed and a couple of bags of compost.

So all the slabs have been lifted and cleaned off ready to ship down to my allotment.

Also made one leaf mould timber framed galvanised wire enclosure.

Sunday 13 January 2013

I Find Freecycle

Saw John today and he has said he would like some leafs, so I’m going to try and arrange another drop after the woodchips, not sure how much longer we will be able to get it, or if the council store it for their composting?

Thanks to this forum I have found out about freecycle and had arranged to pick up some concrete block edging and plastic water pipe from a chap in Epsom. It took me three trips and I worked at it from 8:30am – 3pm. But I now have some pipe (blue and grey) and enough edging to deal with around the five climbing roses I have picked up for the wall and to difference in level between the top of my plot by the shed and the path between me and plot 2

Had to say I felt really good whist I was doing it and then when I stopped and finally got home for some lunch, my muscles and joints started to let me know that they had been somewhat used and abused for the past six hours.

Picture above is side of shed where my plastic grow house is going and I forget mention I also harvested 3 bags of sand (in picture) - I've laid out some edging where the level difference is and tried to see how many I would need to go around the roses with the  edging upright.

Kerbs on Edge - Semi Circle Layout

When unloading I placed some around base of the plastic compost bin to see how many I would need for each rose - the answer was six - so the pile in front of the shed  with those around the bin will do if I lay them on flat.

The edgings are all the same colour the lighter ones are dry.

Got to be said Jon (the guy getting rid of this stuff) was a really nice chap and he has a bad back so couldn't clear the material and was happy to freecycle - I'm really happy he did - Thanks Jon and good luck for the future with that back.

(Going to send him some photographs so he can see where his edging ended up)


Saturday 12 January 2013

Leaf Mould II

On the way to work I dropped off to the allotment and filled two giant Wheelie Bin Bags with leafs that were still there and cleared up as best I could as I have also arranged for a drop off wood chip. – Which now look like it may be next week, which was when I was expecting the leafs.

Friday 11 January 2013

Leaf Mould

Not sure if I have mentioned but the site has not had a rep for a very long time, and I worked at the council for 18 years up to about 8 years ago, As I know the lady that manages the allotments and I was full of questions etc. She asked if I would like to be the site rep, after finding out what was involved I said yes I would do it.

So I have been chasing the council to clear the area between the two gates of the allotment as it was full of what appeared to be fly tipping although some turned out to be grass cuttings that one plot holder had left there for 3 years never quite getting onto his site.

That established it was moved into the allotment. The Council have removed the remainder except where the debris is in the brambles. I have arranged for leafs to be dropped of and Keith filled his Composter and bagged up some for me as it was dropped off last Thursday and I was at work (Keith delivers food for a large store, so works wacky hours and shifts)

The only other person on the site was the guy that had been storing his mould (grass and leaf) in the entrance and he didn’t want anymore     

Thursday night I started constructing one of two wire leaf mould compost enclosures for my plot

Thursday 10 January 2013

Millions of 'killer slugs' set to take over gardens

After the worst year on record for slugs, things are about to get even worse with millions of a new species of ‘killer slug’ expected to take over gardens this spring.

Millions of 'killer slugs' set to take over gardens
It is thought the new species came into the UK via imports of salad leaves Photo: ALAMY

Full story HERE from the Daily Telegraph.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Working Out The Cost of Protecting The Crop - 01

Photographs from ICE's Blog on

With little that can be done on the allotment on wet dark evenings,  I'm undertaking a Deskstudy and working out the costs of protecting the crop and here are the Results

Debris Netting
EBay - Agralan Environmesh XL 2.6m x 5.0 = £21.00 Free delivery

EBay – Debris netting

3m x 50m Green = £49.95 (£40.00 + £9.95 P&P) – Online Scaffolding Sales
3m x 50m Green = £41.28 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go

3m x 20m Green = £28.99 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go
3m x 20m Green = £22.50 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go

2m x 50m Green = £52.98 (£44.99 + £7.99 P&P) – First Fence
2m x 50m Green = £44.95 Free P&P – Jade Supplies Ltd
2m x 50m Green = £40.80 (£32.00 + £8.80 P&P) – ropeseller23
2m x 50m Green = £38.40 Free P&P – First Fence
2m x 50m Green = £37.72 (£29.75 + £7.97 P&P) – Essex Hire and Sales Ltd
2m x 50m Green = £37.49 (£29.50 + £7.99 P&P) – First Fence
2m x 50m Green = £33.71 (£23.76 + £9.95 P&P) – Scaffolding Supplies Ltd
2m x 50m Green = £32.99 (£27.00 + £5.99 P&P) – Online Scaffolding Sales
2m x 50m Green = £32.00 (£25.50 + £6.50 P&P) – psb-scaffolding
2m x 50m Green = £29.50 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go
2m x 50m Green = £27.00 Free (£19.00 + £8.00 P&P) – totalscaffoldingsupplies

2m x 20m Green = £17.50 Free P&P – Tarpaflex Ltd
2m x 20m Green = £21.99 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go

1m x 50m Green = £28.99 Free P&P – True Traders Ltd
1m x 50m Green = £19.99 Free P&P – Covers-To-Go

1m x 20m Green = £17.50 Free P&P – Tarpaflex Ltd
Quite a range of prices for the 2m x 50m !!!