Wednesday 27 February 2013

A Gift from God!

Wednesday 27th Feb 2013 - I recieved a request to look at a property that was just around the corner and on the way to the allotment - A gift from God! - So I had a full hour on the allotment as the travel time to and back to the office was booked to the job

As it happened Gary from work brought in 6m of blue water pipe which needed to be dropped off (and cut into 2m lengths) and I had another 3 soft bricks plus the two grape vines from Wilkinson, four cans of Everyday Value larger for the slugs and I to share (they didn't have beer, so I hope the slugs won't mind) and some other bits to drop off.

Had lunch viewing my kingdom, then some slow careful digging as not to get to hot and sweaty or mucky as I was dressed for office work. Dug into the bank of earth that runs along the North boundary and path so that I have a level entrance into my plot. The pile of earth is ready for the sieve and de-rooting to be used in and around the roses and possibly for a raised bed for carrots to take them above rootfly flight zone, of banking up the potatoes when they go in.

John popped in for his 20 minute lunchtime tidy / workout  

Monday 25 February 2013

It's been a busy weekend gardening wise......

Saturday 23rd - Spent most of the day clearing up the back garden around the back and the right hand side, there is lots to do, and I would rather be down the allotment, but Mrs Cadalot has made comments about my neglect of the garden so .....On the plus side, I'm planting seed about the coldframe staying here... just when she thought she was getting rid of the veg patch

In the evening, burnt off the handles and drilled out the rivets on the hinges of the second window and finished drilling the holes on the ends to go behind the vents.

Its not fixed together yet at the corners, I'm going to do that once I have sorted out the last window and it's at its final home (where ever that may be)
Sunday 24th  - Up with the sun and down on the plot early - I moved the remains of the wood chip to my plot and made a pathway from the first gates past the second gates and into the allotment - Right near the end after about and hour and a half, John arrived and asked if I would like a hand and trotted off to get his wheel barrow and shovel - and we finished off in about 20 minutes.
Picture looking into the allotment from the first gate.

I'm going to arrange another drop off wood chippings for John and Michelle (who turned up to feed her chickens) whilst we were making the path.
View looking at the entrance from within the allotment.

Also cut back all the grow that shuts the gate when you are trying to get stuff in and out of the site

I then cleaned out the shed and sorted out all the bits and bobs that I have been dumping in there - including the latest bag of stuff picked up from ASDA more galvanised wire rolls at a £1 each, netting pags etc. you get the general idea.

Then I started to dig into the mound of earth beside the shed to find out it was on the carpet laid by the previous plot owner - So out came my old Dads sieve and it did not take long to remove and I ended up a bucked to weed, a couple of wheel barrows full of nice fine soil and the lumpy stoney stuff I used to fill in the dips in the path leading to my plot.
I then laid the paving slabs where the mound use to be ...... then a text message arrived that warned me that it was time to head home for Sunday lunch. I came away with a couple of bags of rubbish and weeds
Popped back after lunch to retrieve the last window for the coldframe so that I can remove the handles and hinges, came away with a tug full of glass for the recycle bin, and also finally managed to stack all of the cut down pots and start to tidy the area in the corner behind the shed - Oh and laid a couple of more paving slabs in that area that I discovered when clearing the plot.

Home to install my new PC that I picked up Saturday morning (I can't believe I've been gardening when my new toy has been sitting there for two days in it's cardboard box) - I must have the gardening bug.

Friday 22 February 2013

Thursday 21st February

At the beginning of the week I chased the council about the wood chippings for the allotment as they never arrived and I'm guessing it was because the snow did. So I thought I would pop down the allotment lunch time just to see if anything had arrived. I was surprised to see that they had dropped off a load but not between the two gates as I had asked, but actually inside the allotment.

The idea was to spread in the muddy area between the two gates and then barrow the excess to Keith's and my plots, then anyone else could help themselves to what was over.

Once I see more people down there if they want wood chips I will arrange another drop. So a quick 1/2 hour turned into 3/4 hour and I shifted a load onto tarps I had laid down to try and keep the weed down on the last area of the plot to be dug. Had to pick my daughter up from work at six so spent about another 50 minutes on there on the way home. Picture is at end of play dinner time after Keith had added to my pile for me. He is a good brother-in-law
 , and he reads this Blog ;0)

The pile at the back of the picture is where the lorry load was dropped and the gates behind are the second gates into the site - the first pair looking just like a timber fence from the access road.

Still working on the coldframe here and there when I get a moment in the evenings and weekends - bought another window frame home to melt off the handles and drill out the rivets to the hinges - the frame is all there bar the sacrificial timber at the bottom and holes for the slide ventilators. I will upload photographs once complete and finally assembled in place.

Received my 10 Comfrey roots ordered off ebay and potted them straight away when I finally got home.

Monday 18 February 2013

Sunday 17th February

I just could not wait, up at 6:00 out at 7:00 after scraping the ice off the car I was at the allotment about 7:20 ish and had about two hours of digging, actual real digging with a fork - progress was extremely slow due to starting in the worst corner, the one with the brambles and hawthorne. But my plan is to clear along the wall and then work my way back across the plot. I have never seen so many weed and roots, taking it slow and clearing as much as I can.

I was all alone down there, just me and my robin who lives in the tree behind my shed, then the sun came out, and with the digging I was nice a warm and I could feel the sun on my face ...... I love it.

Back home at 9:30 to sort out my hound (we had to give him some chill pills so I could cut his claws) then shopping. TRASCO had apple and pear trees at £7 a tree, resisted, had lunch

After Lunch the wife and I returned to the allotment for another 3 and a half hours, burnt another incinerator of wood and cuttings - brought back a total of six garden bags of weeds and dross from the allotment which filled the wheelie bin at my Mums place. I may as well fill them each week until the house is sold.

Keep telling myself the rest of the plot should be easier to dig, but once the weed are out what a lovely drop of soil and it broke down to a fine till

Sunday 17 February 2013

A couple of dry days.....

A couple of dry days, and looking forward to getting down the allotment and then I had Dad duties to perform sorting out my eldest daughters car as she is away this weekend, which took the morning. I Managed to still get down to the plot as burn the last of all the debris for 3 Hours and the drying bin is gone..... Seeing light at the end of the tunnel now and the plot is looking clearer all the time, just can't wait to start digging.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Progress over 3 months from another angle

Another review of progress over 3 months from another angle..... am I going to be able to get the plot dug over before I need to get the potatoes in (Only if it stops raining especially on the weekends when the better half hasn't got things for me to do)

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Rain Rain and more rain ....

The weekend was a wash out - rain rain and more rain - no bonfire the only gardening / allotment thing I managed to do was remove the handle and take the hinges off one of the three double glazed windows I'm going to use for the cold frame. Went to B&Q to pick up gravel boards to build the framework and picked up 5 x 20 Litre bags of no peat general purpose and seed compost at a £1 a bag.

Cut up the timbers to size ready for partial assembly - I'm going to make the panels up and ship to the allotment then do the final assembly there, forgot the old carpenters adage "measure twice and cut once" but I have plans for the all gravel board offcuts.

Monday - working from Home as I need to take the wife to hospital - and it's snowing...... ohmy In the early evening finished the cutting and now ready to drill and screw it all together, I have a couple of old plastic air brick vents that I'm thinking of putting either end.

Saturday 9 February 2013

One hundred percent flabbergasted!

One hundred percent flabbergasted - I had to go to North London this morning to do a survey and when I got back to the office about 1:30-ish there was a small wooden crate covered in black plastic - Didn't think anything off it until I was told it was for me!

Opened it up and it's the Rhyas Petrol Generator I ordered yesterday with normal delivery which isn't suppose to be with me until late next week......

Listen you up there, I need some continuous dry weather for a week or two. I'm a man with all these new toys to play with.

On the way back to the office walking from the station to the car I popped into Lidl and picked up three grow pots, peppers and strawberry for me and marigolds for the slugs after reading about planting decoys in the gardening book on the way up and back on the train.

Friday 8 February 2013

Good old Nigel

Good old Nigel - he did the business and I added £2 to my Amazon balance and I ordered the Rhyas Petrol Generator - should be with me sometime next week - I had to pick up my daughter from work and drop her off so she could pick up her car from the garage on the way home.
So, as they keep on at me at work to do time sheets, I thought (clump of grass it) so I went off the the plot for and hour (I get about 3/4 of an hour of activity) after picking up a Cornish Pasty on the way, and the trip back to work, and still got in over my 7.5 hours for the day.

I managed to cut up nearly all of the remaining Brambles and Hawthorne, the wife cooked me off some more sand during the day and I have another three 1 litre soft bricks ready to ship off to the allotment on the next visit (hopefully Saturday) 

Thursday 7 February 2013

The Handy Tiller

I feel like Gollum - "My Precious" arrived today cost me £49.99 + £6.99 P&P from ebay New which is about  £30 - £35 cheaper than I've seen it elsewhere.

MUST Turn over and weed first before I use it ...... with the Automatic Spade.

Next purchase is the Rhyas Petrol Generator, I tried to order it last night, but I need to add another 91 pence to the Amazon gift voucher the company gave me for Christmas and they don't take PayPal - drat and double drat. - Will ask one of the guys at work to buy me a voucher and give them the cash.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Flying Lunchtime Visit and more Soft Bricks

Flying visit to the plot during lunch time, dropped off the bits and bobs I picked up Sunday shopping into the shed.

Weighted down the tarp over the drying bin as it was starting be peeled off by the high winds we have been having over the last couple days. I used the three "soft bricks" that I had made and taken with me. I have about another four milk bottles to fill with sand once I've dried it out, and they will be useful when I have dug and started to cover with tarps to keep the weed down and warm up the soil. 

Did about half an hour of cutting up the last pile of Hawthorne and Brambles,  just a very small pile to do now, I'm guessing about another 15 minutes worth, and that will be it, ALL DONE and ready for the burning......... Yipppppeeee     Left the sack in the shed to keep it dry.

Really hoping for some dry weather over the weekend ....

Monday 4 February 2013

Weekend Update plus Before and After

Friday 1st Feb - Picked up 10 Slug traps (2 traps in a box for a pound) from the local pound + shop, never seen them anywhere before or perhaps I'm now tuned in more to the gardening areas ;)

Also the Backsaver Spade arrived, which is fantastic going as I only ordered a few days ago by letter and cheque.

Saturday 2nd Feb - Picked up a load of flower pots from a very nice lady (Christine) in Wimbledon via freecycle who has just planted out her new garden. 

Spend 3 hours (3:00 pm - 6:00 pm) up the allotment with the wife burning the contents of the drying bin - again both incinerators were half fill with ash by the end of the night. I think one more big burn up might just clear all the tree , brambles and weeds from the clearance.

Sunday 3rd Feb - Up at 6:00 and over the allotment by 7:45 – emptied the ash from the incinerators, then re filled them with alternating layers of paper and weed, trees and brambles etc. so both reloaded and ready for action.

I cut up nearly all the Hawthorne and Brambles straight into the incinerators so I didn’t have to handle it twice. I also filled the drying bin with the last load of material to burn, and now I can see light at the end of the tunnel, I just need some dry weather so I can start digging.

The three growhouse skins were bagged in a wheelie bin bag to keep the back of the car clean, and the four aluminium and broken glass windows were also bagged, plus various other debris so a car full came away with me about two and a half hours later to be dropped off at the dump on the way home.

The photograph of Before and After that makes me happy when I look at it ;)