Thursday 31 October 2013

Thursday 31st October 2013 - Rain Rain Go Away!

Really getting the hump with the weather, rain rain and more yet more rain.

I feel the need for attacking the ground and getting the rest of my allotment in order for next year, I want to be ahead of the game and not playing catch up like this year. From the looks of the 5 and 10 day weather forecast it should be dry on Sunday following a mainly dry Saturday, fingers crossed.

With the clocks going back, and the dark mornings I will not be able to get down there until about 7:30 - 8:00 but I really need some allotment therapy, and to get the overwintering spring onions out of the cold frame and into the ground covered with the half made half plot mesh / plastic cloche.

Job List in no particular order

  Tidy the racking and storage area
  Weed and manure the empty beds
  Finish construction of half bed cloche - mini polytunnel
  Build second half bed cloche - mini polytunnel
  Plant out over winter spring onions from the cold frame
  Plant out over winter cabbage from the cold frame
  If peppers are ready harvest and collapse the pop up greenhouse
  Construct the greenhouse - coldframe extension to the side of the shed
  Construct the third plastic bottle 1.2 x 1.2 m frame
  Use freecycle greenhouse framework to make a cage over a bed
  Guttering on the shed to the water butt
  Sort out the leaf stores and harvest more leafs and fill up.
  Fill up the comfrey pipe and top up the comfrey barrel.
  Dig bed 10 and create paths around
  Dig bed 11 and create paths around
  Dig Bed 12 and create Paths around
  Dig Beds 13 onwards in the triangular area
  Install kerb edgings along the main access paths
  Stake the carpet path to the ground to prevent fly away in high winds
  Lay the remainder of the paving slabs and level existing
  Infill the bottom of the path around bed 1
  Cut back the grapes for winter
  Clean off the slate chippings from freecycle - especially is water still on
  Lay slate chippings around the grapes
  Sort out the shed
  Treat the allotment padlocks with the special WD40
  Chase the council for more woodchips
  Hump said woodchips to plot and fill up the paths and sacks for the paths on the remainder of the plot

Doh! now looking at this list I really need lots of dry weather  ::),

Well I shall be self employed shortly so I may have to give myself some dry days on the allotment from December and work from my outside office - I will have my mobile phone with me.

Monday 28 October 2013

Monday 28th October - After High Winds

Lost the fence in the back garden again in the high winds, it was a new post last year!

So a flying visit lunch time to the allotment to check it out turned into an hour, as the carpet paths were all over the adjoining plots and the sprouts had all been blown sideways. I remove the netting and staked them all vertical again.

The two grow house were still there, the square one next to the wall was leaning slightly to the left, because the shed extension panel and been blown onto the side of it in the winds.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Sunday 27th October - Freecycle Harvest

Picked up a pop up greenhouse on Freecycle from a guy who is moving home, the skin had seen better days but as it was a walk in type with shelving on both sided it's the frame plastic joints and mesh shelving that I'm after anyway.

The skin on my pop up greenhouse is knackered in the corner and may just make it to next year if it gets past Sunday / Monday if not then I will use the plastic connectors and pipework from the two to make up a frame to hold netting to go over one of my beds next year.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Saturday 26th October 2013

Swift visit as it was dry and sunny for a little while, just enough time to harvest the last two Cabbage and cauliflowers and four peppers and some red plum toms from the grow houses which may or may not still be there after the high winds Sunday night / Monday morning
I decided to water what's left and zip them up and hope  ::)

The excess outer leafs that had been nibbled went into the green dalek.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

Lunch time visit to water the peppers and the last of the still green plum toms.

Started to clear Bed 1 of the broccoli cutting it all up and putting it in the green dalek, I have two small coli (tennis ball size) in there and I'm thinking I will have to harvest next weekend along with the last two cabbage in Bed 6.

Everything is just so wet, we don't seem to have had a completely dry day for at least the last couple of weeks, and the forecast is showers every day for the next 10 days. I'm glad I have the next area to dig up covered with plastic. I can manage cold, I can work in that but not in the rain. >:(   

Thursday 17 October 2013

16th October 2013 - Flying Lunchtime Visit

A flying lunchtime visit but forgot the shed key - Doh!

Watered the Peppers and the last of the toms and harvested about 15 nice red plum toms, I have one red Pepper and one part orange pepper - well chuffed if I only get those two and the others never ripen.

The leafs on the bottom of the sprouts are all dropping off - I don't know if this is normal or not? 

I must have a look in some of the books, but I doubt if they will say anything. So picked them up and put in the green dalek, the levels of which have dropped quite a lot seeing as it was over 3/4 full and now I would say only about a 1/3 that stuff is really compacting and hopefully rotting away nicely

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Friday 11 October 2013

Thursday 10th October 2013

Went to the allotment lunchtime to clear my spinning mind a little - cleared a lot of weeds from the beans and from bed 9 - topped up the compost from the remains in Bed 8 - took the full hour - could have happily stayed there for the rest of the day.

Weekend - Rain and the wives birthday - took her to see 7 brides for 7 brothers at New Wimbledon Theatre what a cracking show catch it if you can - Croydon Fairfield Hall next

Hoping to get to the allotment tomorrow lunch time as the weather is supposed to be good, Thursday dry then rain for the next 10 days - Doh!

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Wednesday 9th October - Your Jobs at Risk!

Informed 20 minutes before an office meeting about the future of the company that they are stopping one of the services I provide and my job is at risk - Stunned  :ohmy: another meeting in two weeks time to discuss further - like they have already made their mind up it's just a process they have to follow. I'm guessing written notice of a decision re redundancy will follow swiftly after.

Tuesday 8th October 2013

A lunchtime visit on the way back from site as I had to pass, it was a lovely bright sunshine, Bob, Adi's Mum and Mick & his Mencap gang were there as well.

Picked up 10 bags of slate fragments on the way back from site courtesy of freecycle and offloaded them with a bag of compost from home and the peppers. The slate fragments will go down around the grapes on weed membrane to keep the weeds down and if enough under each of the monkeys in the runner bean area.

I cleared the tomato plants from the green house and two from the grow house - and replaced with the peppers, two of which are starting to turn orange, so they might just make it before the frost kills them all 

Cleared the rest of the broccoli from bed 8, and put it into the green compost bin the level of which had dropped thankfully allowing the top up.

So bed 8 is now ready for clearing and applying cardboard covered with farmyard manure, on a future visit.

Cleared the weeds from bed 9, and turned the soil a little to breakup the crust that was forming, next visit a sprinkle of chicken poo pellets, get the strawberries in and cover with the chicken wire frame, to keep Basil Brush out!

Topped up the comfrey and the water butts, ready for the water being turned off at the end of the month
. :nowink: - once I have built the greenhouse extension to the shed I will sort out the guttering to harvest rainwater.

Sunday 6th October 2013

Up at 6:00 and it's pitch black, dressed and breakfast, loaded up the car with a couple of tugs of used compost destined for the runner beans area, took some 1.3m bamboo canes with caps and some without. A crisp morning with fog in the A217 at the low point by Glastonbury road rolling over the recreation ground.

Arrived at the allotment just after 7:00, took the stuff into the allotment, two trips and started by sorting out the bit I needed for the day. I made a big mistake of wearing trainers which were soaking wet from the dew in the ground. I continued to clear the runner beans when Keith and Pauline arrived. After a quick chat, I carried on harvesting beans and clearing the beans until called by Keith for coffee, by the time I had walked down the main path and up to Keith shed on plot 6 my feet were soaking.

We were all sitting and drinking when Basil Brush appeared from plot 7, I told Basil to hop it and he just looked at us and started to sniff the sack of potatoes, Keith shouted at him to leave them alone, the Pauline exclaimed that he was nicking Keiths potatoes. Sure enough the little fellow has a potatoes in his mouth and run off, we all laughed and could not believe the cheeky little gits bravado.

Keith loaned me some boots he had in the shed for the walk back and a further hunt in my shed on my return, I found my cut down wellingtons. So second coffee of the day saw Keiths boots returned.

So it took time but the Runners beans are in the composting green dalek, the netting was put in a rubbish sack, I will not be using that netting again, next year I have planned gallows brackets and to start from near to the wall at the ground and have strings leaning out with a canopy like a Minty frame.

Comfrey harvested, shredded and added  to the comfrey pipe.

Bed 4 now cleared of potatoes, about half an onion sack full.

Bed 8 Harvested two cauliflowers and two cabbages, Really impressed with the Cauliflower, once the green leafs were cleared they are nice and white, really makes up the naff broccoli in beds 8 and 1 which have both bolted due to the warm weather, so lots of foliage has been added to the green dalek and it's full. I also topped up the black dalek. Looks like I better position the second small black dalek at the rate I'm going.

Tomatoes from the grow house that were red were harvested and it looks like the plum tomatoes will be ready by the end of the week if the blight stays off them being inside.

I painted some of the large batten that I want to make the next potable half bed debris netting frame with, and some of the pallet wood that I'm going to edge the beds with.

Bearing in mind that I was there until 1:00 so about five hours, I didn't feel like I had achieved as much as I wanted, but there again that's nothing new, its always a lot quicker in my mind than in real life and time.

It took two trips to the car to get everything in there that needed to come home, and after lunch Jen and I processed the harvest, a food parcel for Jen sister and a lot of stuff cleaned, cut and bagged up in the freezer.

I need to weed bed 9 and get the strawberries in ....

Thursday 3 October 2013

Wednesday 2 October 2013

2nd October 2013

Too Sunny to stay in the office - a flying visit and I managed to get the hoops covered, just a little tweaking of the ends to tidy up where the chicken wire laps and then cut off all the ends of the cable ties and its done.

John arrived as I was leaving only had his hip replaced just over a week ago.... the man just can't keep away bless him

Take That Basil Brush

Tuesday 1 October 2013

1st October 2013

A lunch time visit - Basil Brush has dug a ruddy great hole in bed 7 that I cleared and covered with farmyard manure on Sunday  :ohmy: Making noises like Mutley in Wacky Races ... I hate the Bleeping fox  :mad:

So that's it, I was going to weed but I have screwed up the first portable hooped frame that I use to set out the plots and put the edging in against after diggin and before making the paths around.

I started to cover it in the chicken wire I got off freecycle..... Next lunch time visit should see it finished

The strawberries are going to need protecting from Basil and I'm not putting them in until I have some way of keeping him out.

More ideas for fox proofing the beds are hatching in my mind, any suggestions out there?