Wednesday 26 February 2014

Wednesday 26th February 2014

Took an hour off during the day as it was sunny to continue the harvesting and re-potting of the blue bells from the area in front of the shed - ended up with another 38 in plastic drink cups ready for replanting either here or at the allotment after the hard landscaping is complete.  There are still more to gat at and remove before I can continue.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Thursday 27th February 2014

Had to pop to Tesco to pick up a wine bottle gift bag for my sisters birthday present as she is popping around tonight (diet coke as a joke present as she told me she is off alcohol at the moment isn't she going to be surprised )  Could not resist a further two bags of Westland seed and potting compost with added John Innes for a £5 they kinda jumped into the trolley


Tuesday 25th February 2014

Meeting near to a Lidl and I could not resist popping in to see what they had and came home with another two 20L bags of seed & cutting compost, now in the shed keeping dry and warm. 

Checked on my Nutella jar of runner beans to find that they had gone furry - so washed and dried them off now waiting for them to be really dry and thinking of storing in envelopes rather than jam jars. The others that were in the cake base container were fine and both were stored under the stairs with Harry Potter... Go figure

Monday 24 February 2014

Monday 24th February 2014

Sunny day so took a little time off work as it was sunny and ripped up all the wooden log paving along in front of the shed and started laying the excess block paving from last year when I had the drive done. I need to get the back garden sorted out and the fences re-erected and the Greenhouse I had been told I would now not be getting for my birthday has arrived, and is sitting in the hallway


Sunday 23 February 2014

Sunday 23rd February - Save the Planet Plant A Tree

Light rain as I made my way too the allotment at around 7:45, and it tried on and off all morning to rain, very windy down the allotment but lots of people there today John, Owen (at different times thankfully) Adi and Andy. Keith and Pauline were the only ones down there yesterday in all that sun.

So to work - I dug 3 holes and placed in a tap root barrier like I saw in the Victorian Kitchen Garden similar idea just didn't have a slab of stone lying around. The Cherry and Plums are in Flower Buckets from the co-op with holes burnt in the sides to allow water out.

So now my three wise monkeys have apple trees to look after

Next job as to clear the comfrey bed of weeds and plant a tray of daffs and bluebells saved from the hard landscaping works at home to add some early colour to the allotment.

And finally the strawberries have been put into the mesh fridge drawers and laid out on beds 5 & 8 so that all the component parts of the greenhouse could be laid out on the table top, so that I can put all the similar bits together, and try to work out and recall how the *&^%$£  thing came apart.

I did manage to bolt together the sub frame, so now I can measure and cut the timber joist to make a weighty base to the greenhouse and also raise it up so that I don't crack my head open every time I go into it. Note to self go and buy some angle brackets to screw timbers together inside. 


Just managed this by 1:00 which was my time to leave and make my way home for Sunday Lunch.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Saturday 22nd February 2014

I was going to go the allotment to do the trees when it was pointed out to me that there was so much needed doing at home and I would be there tomorrow morning anyway, so my answer was to do what's needed to be done in the back garden, especially as I need to fix the fences and also make room for the greenhouse I'm not supposed to know I have coming for my birthday.

So I have spend most of the day digging up and transplanting miniature daffodils, crocuses and bluebells into a variety of different sizes pots, some to be planted in front of the new hard landscaping and others to make their way down to my comfrey plot on the allotment to add some early colour to the plot and make me smile.

Friday 21 February 2014

Friday 21st February 2014 - Trees

After being told that I would not now be getting the greenhouse for my birthday can you guess what turned up today and now I have to pretend that I don't know what the boxes stacked in the hallway are until the 12th March

On the basis that I'm going to have a greenhouse here and one at the allotment I bought 2 sacks of Lidi Grandiol 20 L Seed & Cutting Compost and when we went to TESCO I picked up two bags of 20L Westland Gro-Sure Fine Grade Seed and Cutting Compost to add to the three bags I picked up from the £1 shop on the weekend.

Also a I'm now proud owner of Da da da daaaaaaaaa  Trees   :nowink:

   2 x Stanley Plum
   2 x Ida Red Apples
   2 x Stella Sweet Cherry
   1 x Granny Smith

So hopefully a visit to the allotment tomorrow to plant trees

Thursday 20 February 2014

Wednesday 19th February 2014 - Shed Electrics

My Nephew (in law) Scott came and extended the electrics to the second masonry shed that I have fitted with an air brick on the side and an air vent on the door that has certainly cured condensation problem I was having on the underside of the concrete flat roof.

He also helped me lug the small freezer out there, so that's it I'm ready with an additional storage facility to store all that lovely produce I'm going to grow this year


Wednesday 19 February 2014

Tuesday 18th February 2014 - Sorting Seeds

Now that I have 3 seed Boxes I've split the seeds into
  1. Allotment
  2. Home - for starting off to take to the allotment
  3. Combined Home/ Allotment - Basically Open seed packets from last year.
After we returned home from Jens annual appointment at the Royal Brompton, I transplanted some more snowdrops, bluebells and miniature daffs from in front of the log paving area in front of the sheds that is going to get the block paving treatment once the weather turns a little better.
Jen has now decided after years of telling me that they look messy that she likes them and I'm to transplant them back in front of the kerb stones, once the block paving is done. I'm sure I will have too many and some may have too make their way to my comfrey bed for some early colour on the allotment.

Monday 17 February 2014

Sunday 16th February 2014

A blinding morning down on the allotment, got there about 7:30 and needed a coat and the fleece, but as the morning went on the sun warmed me up and the coat came off. Walked in to find that the pop bottle cube had suffered at the hand of the high winds and had been torn apart. The four new plastic cloches I bought and had put inside the cube were happily safe and sound and had been blown onto the next bed.

The fence against the storage area was leaning over and split and there were the contents of Adi's store all over the comfrey patch and a lot of my bits had travelled to plots 2 and 3.

I cut the cable ties and placed the frames against the wall, one frame was completely knackered, I fixed one of the triangular frames and lined it with pop bottles and did the same for the second triangular frame, and rebuilt the pop bottle cloche but this time as a tent type structure

The busted pop bottle panel is the one leaning at the back of the tent in the picture below, I can recycle the pop bottles again but need to get some more wood for the panels. 

There were loads of bags of pop bottles inside and outside and behind the shed. I repaired the fence panel and drilled it then cable tied it to the storage rack so that it can't move any more then set about making up 1.2m tubes of pop bottles. I really wanted to start reconstructing the greenhouse or dig and weed but I did managed whilst clearing up to cable tie some bamboo to the hanging brackets on the wall for the cantilevered minty frame to come.

Andy asked me to have words with Jackie at the council about a replacement fence at the back especially where the fire was last year and the fire brigade trod it down to gain access.   

Fixed Fence Panel & Pop bottles stacks in the storage area

Looking at the 10 day weather forecast on Monday 17th February there are two days of light cloud which involve rain at sometime during the day and all the other days are either Light (6 days) and Heavy Rain Showers (2 days).

It's really not looking good for those flooded and for the possibility of getting anything done on the allotment.

Left the allotment about 12:45 to make my way home for a really nice roast dinner cooked by Kelly
A visit to the £1 shop after Dinner and came away with three sacks of potting compost with added john Innes, lady Gardening Gloves for Jen and another seed box, just managed to resisted the seed (they only had beans and peas) and plants

Sunday 16 February 2014

Saturday 15th February 2014

Last nights wind brought down more fence panels and the tallboy plastic shed across the path smashing the front on the retaining wall. I could not open the gate so had to climb over the retaining wall and trellis to get on the right side to pick up panels and the debris from all the broken ornaments from the tops of the brick and concrete store.

Went to the £1 shop and picked up 3 sacks of potting compost with John Innes added, some gardening gloves for Jen and another Seed Box (that makes Number 3). I have a large sack of pop bottles to go to the allotment and I'm hoping to get down there tomorrow to check on everything to see what may have been blown away or onto other peoples plots. If I'm lucky I may get started on erecting the greenhouse, but there is no way I'm installing the polycarbonate sheets until all these high winds are over

Monday 10 February 2014

9th February 2014

Read the riot act this morning by the better half on how stupid I would be to go down there and work with the cough and cold that I have been trying to shake for the last 10 day etc. Especially as I've been able to sleep properly for at least a week.

Negotiated a quick visit to the allotment with the Triffid I mean wife to take a few items down there, a dog cage donated by the sister in law - I can use it for a number of things and yet another bag of pop bottles, had a little tidy up and retuned my brother-in-laws pick axe to behind his shed as he will been it to form his additional beds this year. I must admit it's been driving me mad that I have not been able to get down there and make progress.

I picked up the two triangular ends that I made up last week and lent them against each other, and now I'm thinking of making 4ft or 1.2m pop bottle pyramids - less timber and pop bottles - looks like I shall need some more gravel boards and 2x1 roof batten

I did manage to pop out into the back garden and silicon up the interface of the concrete slab and the wall to the brick store where driving rail appears to be getting in despite the overhang and drip, but it has been bitter cold and very windy on and off all day.

Saturday 8 February 2014

The Victorian Kitchen Garden

Something to watch during these wet nights and weekend when you can't get to the allotment.

The complete series can be found at

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Tuesday 4th February 2014 - Where to put the Greenhouse

This head cold woke me up about 5:00 ish so I've been tinkering with the Allotment Plan for this year - The Greenhouse is going onto bed 6 which being 2.4m long leaves 600mm to one side - not sure what to grow there at the moment? Something short so as not to provide shade me thinks, perhaps the Kleine Rhinlanderin Peas I picked up yesterday from Lidl, as they only grow 300 - 400mm high.

I will see on site if I can place the Black Dalek next too the Green Dalek giving me a longer plot 15A 

I'm thinking I may put Comfrey all along the boundary with Plot 1 and perhaps along the paths at 15A and 15B in the triangular area - I don't think you can have too much Comfrey.

I may switch beds 7 & 8 putting the 1st Early Potatoes near to the patio area.

Another thought  I had is where to store the pop bottle cloches once there work is done, I could put posts along the path and use them as a wind break later in the season, or perhaps as a square / rectangle around the corn to keep out Basil Brush and provide some protection from the wind?

3rd February 2014 - My name is Alan and I am a Seed-a-holic

Went to see a client this morning and got there early so I had to go and look in Lidl to waste some time, and the seed packets talked to me telepathically saying "buy me, buy me, buy me" I could not resist 29p a pack or 5 for a £1 it would be rude to only look. I now have a pack of water melon seeds that I'm hoping I can grow in the greenhouse. White Radish Red Radish, Leeks (which weren't on the growing agenda this year, but I will over winter) and Peppers. Bought seed Vs seeds harvested from shop bought peppers battle in the greenhouse this year me thinks.

Nice long date on the Lidl seed, so I also bought 4 packs of the 49p Garden Peas two different types, French beans, Carrot (Karnavit) early Season F1 Hybrid. Kelly wants me to grow things she enjoys eating and was upset that I didn't grow peas last year, apparently all the sweet corn are hers.

As it was nice sunny and dry I dropped off the four sun tunnels that were in the back of the car, and picked up the timber joist from my sisters that I'm going to use as a base to the Greenhouse and dropped them off at the allotment whist driving around and on my quest for a brown vent cover for the external store door.

This evening I found there was very little information on the packet of peas from Lidl so I've done some Google research and now know everything there is to know about them - You have to love Google

Doh! No more room in my two seed boxes - going to have to buy a bigger box or perhaps a third box (why do I keep buying seeds?) That's right I've become a seed-a-holic

Monday 3 February 2014

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Up and out early got to the allotment at 7:30 - carried the timber. the glazing for the green house and the door for the greenhouse into the site, came back for my cordless drill and some other bits and bobs.

Painted the side of the shed where the grow house had been and painted the timber I was going to use to make up the triangular ends to the pop bottle greenhouse

Started thinking about where I could erect the greenhouse and decided to lay the rest of the paving slabs that were stacked next to bed 7 - I felt really good for all the exercise until I came home for lunch and sat down and rested - I have a bit of a back ache which is a pain as I had to finish off inserting an airbrick into the external brick shed to try and sort out the condensation in there, especially as I'm about to put a small freezer out there to take this years harvest.

Bob popped in to move the compost from the entrance to his plot, he has been having problems with the padlock same as the rest of us but just has not found the knack yet. Keith and Pauline arrived mid morning to lay more carpet on their beds, and made a couple of cup of coffee during the morning which was most welcome. Andy turned up and was pottering about as sections of his plot are under water. I'm glad I have the plot I have because I don't have any flooding problems.

I managed to make two triangular frames up and have half clad one with pop bottles. I also fixed the hanging basket brackets to the wall which will form the top of my Minty Frame for my Runner Beans this year

Keith had told me about the offers at Wyevale or the Garden Centre as they call themselves now, So I popped down and picked up four sun tunnels reduced from £14 to £7 each in the afternoon before they closed.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Saturday 1st February 2014

A swift visit to drop off some timber and a load more pop bottles and came home.

Sorted out the glazing to the greenhouse and managed to get it all into a large plastic bag and loaded the car ready for the morning as it's supposed to be dry tomorrow. I painted the cut ends of the timbers that will make up the triangular ends of the pop bottle cloches, which hopefully I will be able to build tomorrow and paint ready for fixing the pop bottles to them.

The plan is then to dig over bed 6 which is where I intend to place the greenhouse and if possible start redirecting the framework of the greenhouse.