Saturday 31 May 2014

Friday 30th May 2014

Swift evening visit to drill some more holes in the wall for eye bolts to fix the bamboo to for the bottom of the second runner bean minty type frame off the wall.

Also managed to find the weed membrane that and been pre cut and made ready for the sweet corn. Watered the Toms in the grow house and plants in the greenhouse some of the spring onions look a little weak and were leaning over.

It was 8:30 and the biting insects started to gather which was my cue to leave - Doh

Friday 30 May 2014

Thursday 29th May 2014

An hour on the allotment at lunch time to get the first runner bean frame and strings finished and the plants in the ground as they are touching the top of the green house roof and are about to get to the point where they will start to intertwine.

As I was beavering away, the gate went clink as it does when someone enters the site. I looked up and there was my brother-in-law, who got out of hospital yesterday! Christ he looks thin and worn out bless him.

"We are popping round to see you later, what you doing down here?"

Turns out he dropped off his wife for a hair appointment and rather that wait for her decided he would come and look how his babies have been doing whilst he has been in hospital.

He has all but two beds planted out, and is always on top of things

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Tuesday 27th May 2014

Flying visit to water the plants in the greenhouse after lunch as it had stopped raining, As I walked up to the gate John was just coming out having made a lunchtime visit to do the same

The rain started again whilst I was in the greenhouse. Runner beans now touching the roof and sweet corn now only an inch or so away. As Friday is supposed to be a dry day, I will try and get down there and get them in the ground if at all possible.

After showing Jen the Minty frame, I checked and the top is parallel to the top of the wall, so no problem there then, I just need to get the strings on

Monday 26 May 2014

Sunday 25th May 2014

Up at 5:00 and on allotment just after 6:00 getting on really well I weeded bed 11 and put the edging around and was in the process of starting on bed 12 at about 10:00am when I had an urgent need to come home to use the loo. One very upset stomach, there appears to be a lot it going around at the moment, so I carried on trimming the tree in the back garden.

Normal service was resumed late afternoon, so an evening visit to water and tidy up the dpm over bed 12 and water my brother-in-laws plot as he is in hospital since yesterday.

Photos are

Onions on bed 2
Bed 11 ready for sweet corn
Red strawberries on bed 5

Sunday 25 May 2014

Saturday 24th May 2014 - Starts muttering like Mutley on Wacky races

ARRrrrrrrrr B£$%^& Snail has attacked and eaten my lettuce in the pot on the patio and was sitting on top chomping away. (starts muttering like Mutley on Wacky races)

Wanted to get down the allotment to water the greenhouse and put up strings for runner beans, but not in that rain (Mutley mode again) Should have known it's going to rain it's another Bank Holiday weekend after all!

Friday 23 May 2014

Thursday 22nd May 2014

 A visit late afternoon / early evening to water the contents of the greenhouse - I really need to get the sweet corn bed done and the runner beans in this weekend they are growing like mad in the greenhouse.

Another 2 pint bottle of Comfrey from the pipe, so I replaced the plastic milk bottle. The comfrey is really flowing this year.

In the evening we went shopping and the wife has taken to buying baby plum tomatoes, the only type I'm not growing  ::) so this morning I've cut open one scooped out the seeds and they are in water for a few days then I'm going to grow some to add to my tomato forest I shall have this year.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Tuesday 20th May 2014

"Dad can you drop me off at work please I'm on a late shift" - late Shift means the staff car park at the hospital is full and she will not be able to park. Having watered on Sunday and Monday actually being a decent day, I decided to go and water the greenhouse plants after dropping her off.

The gravel trays make a whole lot of difference to the watering, plus I now take the hose into the greenhouse. All the Runner Beans are now standing tall and will need to go in this weekend for sure. my largest pepper has sun stoke and rolled up and died because it was not in a gravel tray with water drat lesson learnt.

I actually managed to hoe Bed 1 and remove more volunteer potatoes from last year - I am definitely growing in the ground in sacks, or buckets or flower buckets next year so I don't get this problem again. Too late for next year, I may have to double dig and sieve this years potatoes beds and I might empty the compost bins into the excavations before I refill them.

nearly all of the onions are now showing, looked for my phone to take a picture, Doh! left the mobile at home. So round trip including a quick dig weed and tidy and hour. I must try and get more time on the allotment but work is manic at the moment.

Monday 19 May 2014

Sunday 18th May 2014

Up a little later than usual, sent Surbie a message that I was on the way to the allotment. I had unpacked some of the woodchips and leaf and filled the compost bins up with them and I still had some in the car. I started to pot up the Plum Roma tomatoes as Surbie (Beryl) arrived and rang me so I could meet her at the gate.

It was really nice to see her again and I'm so glad the strawberries I picked up from her last year are finally in. I gave her the two and six guided tour of my plot and then like she did me last year when I visited her plot. We had a walk around the allotment looking at the other plots and my brother-in-laws who just spends too much time on the allotment and is always in front with everything.

I had already filled the table with tomatoes and was somewhat disappointed that I could only persuade her to relieve me of one of each type of tomato. I can't bin my babies but happily I have found homes for most of the current large excess, but still have loads coming on.

After bidding Surbie a fond farewell, as she had a lot planned for this weekend, I erected the grow house blow-a-away that Jen bought me two Christmases ago and set about potting up the tomatoes, some from vending machine cups into larger pots and others into co-op flower buckets. A number are making the trip home to fill the bottom of the patio.

It is incredible that mucking about with plants does not leave much time for digging, but looking at the height of the sweet corn that bed has to be completed next week hell or high water.

Home for about 1:30 Lunch, rest as I think the sun had knocked me out a little, then late afternoon, cutting the grass and tidying up the back garden, I could not face more time on the ladder mucking about with the tree.

Went back to the allotment about 7:00 to drop off the rest of the woodchip and to water the plants that didn't get any attention during the morning visit. I'm holding back on over watering the potatoes this year, and will only give a good watering once a week if there isn't any rain.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Saturday 17th May 2014

It goes like this, I could clad the greenhouse but the apple tree needs a prune and I can see a branch smashing thru the corex type thin polycarbonate. So lets prune the tree....

Here it is at the end of the day, allotment tomorrow so it will have to be finished during the week or next weekend.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Friday 16th May 2014

Evening visit to water the greenhouse, had to move the sweet corn to the top of the racking after taking off the cover to the grow house in the greenhouse as they were touching the shelf above.

Quick water outside trees etc. and harvested some radish for lunch tomorrow one of each type and they look really good.

Greenhouse braces here and the outside tap fixed so jet wash the paving slabs and erection of the greenhouse on the cards for tomorrow.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Keith popped his mobile around last night and I covered the first part of the delivery slot for his new shed between 11:30 - 1:00. Well he got caught at works and was half an hour late but arrived in time to take over and still let me get to my afternoon appointment on time, at 1:30. The van turned up just as I left.

Whilst I was waiting I removed the fleece as it was starting to tear anyway and the spuds have really grown, Plus I've cleared the pop bottled from the corner by the storage area and have moved all the pots and bamboo to make room for the blow a way for some of the tomatoes that appear to be growing as I'm watching them.

I did water again but at least I have about 4 runner beans starting to show their heads and now nearly all of the 2nd sowing of beetroots are showing. 

Very disappointed that the braces for the green house have not arrived, I'm itching to get it sorted.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Tuesday 13th May 2014

Dropped off wife to her sisters and went on to water the plants in the greenhouse on the allotment - Not there long, much faster now I have the gravel trays. The missing bits of the greenhouse for home arrived this afternoon Yaaaaay, however the extra braces didn't Booo, so hopefully they will arrive tomorrow and the grand erection can continue...

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Monday 12th May 2014

No allotment today but I did phone about the two missing parts to my greenhouse and they are going to ship them to me but because of the length I'm not likely to receive them until Friday because they will come by a van and not in the post. Whilst on the phone I explained that I was surprised that there was not any bracing to the sides of the greenhouse?.

"That's will be because you are supposed to fix it back to a wall or a fence" I'm told, But I can't where I'm placing it - so after some discussion it would appear the same braces on the front will fit on the sides so I have purchased 4 more braces at a princely sum of 50p each two from the sides and two for the back of the greenhouse and it's costing £4 to deliver them!.

So for the sake of £1 - £2 why the hell don't just supply additional bracing to keep the greenhouse square, upright and rigid?

All timber has now had two coats of timber paint and this morning I picked up the hardware to fix the timbers together and some bearing plates for fixing the greenhouse down to the timber on my way back home. All polycarbonate has been sealed on the ends with see thru silicon to prevent water ingress and greening of the cavities.

I can not believe how fast the tomatoes are growing, they are now touching the glass in the cold frame and I have taken out the upside down seed tray they were sitting on to give them another 35mm of growth before they need to come out, and hopefully into the bottom of the greenhouse on the weekend.

I'm going to dig out the double space blow-a-way greenhouse the wife bought me two Christmases ago that never made it into the back garden for the allotment for tomatoes down there to keep the rain off and hopefully the blight at bay. I will be spraying with Asprin solution once they get a little larger and a little more robust.

Some of my excess tomatoes are being collected on Sunday morning and going to a good home.

Monday 12 May 2014

Sunday 11th May 2014

Early morning visit to the allotment to water as I have not been for 3 days, and actually using the gravel trays everything is doing really well, in fact too well.

Potatoes are now 50mm above the high shelf and, the decisions had to be made to move them outside especially as some of the tomatoes are now so tall they are touching the shelf above. The orange peppers are also growing like mad and and I have potted on 12 of the strongest. It will not be long and I will have to do the same with the red peppers. I will not take that many on and I'm sure I will find homes for the extras with my neighbours.

So the greenhouse has had a jolly good sort out this morning, and everything is watered and good for a few days before I have to return. Keith is getting another shed delivered Wednesday but he can't get away during the start of the provided delivery time, so I know when my next watering session is going to be and I'm covering it for him until he arrives. 

Home about 9:15 and cut the timber joist salvaged from my sisters car port I demolished with her a little while ago. four lengths cut to size and the ends painted with red cedar wood preservative ready to create a frame to provide some holding down weight to help resist the wind loads and overturning. After Sunday lunch a drive out to get some more wood preservative and they have now all had one coat of paint. The sun has come out and I'm leaving them to dry and if the rain holds off they may get a second coat.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Saturday 10th May 2014

All about getting the spacesaver Greenhouse together, I can see what they mean in the reviews about it being like meccano very small bolts and nuts a few hundred of them 

With the rain I decided to build the greenhouse in the kitchen, I did have to remove the stops and the handle off the patio doors to get it out once completed, and I need to go and get some silicon as it's suggested that you use it in the instructions but is not provided.

There are two bits missing however there are two additional bits, so I'm hoping I can make it work without having to contact the supplier on Monday, they do provide a drill to assist in the erection process, but I have not needed it, and managed to get the bolts in without re-drilling any holes.

The cold frame is to return to the top of the garden between the greenhouse and the store once I have jet washed the green off the fence and painted it again. That's another job change the outside tap as it has a leak from the top of the tap and the pressure is not good enough for the expanding hose I bought last year.

Friday 9 May 2014

Thursday 8th May 2014

Up early and down to the allotment to take the water trays and water the plants and got home before 8:45. It's so easy with the double tray sized trays I picked up - I'm going to have to pick up a few more plus level the staging out a little so that the water in the trays covers the whole seed tray area.

Currently I'm using some water retaining hanging basket liners and some capillary matting - but I'm not sure if I would be better off with gravel or pea shingle in the bottom?

Any advice out there pros and cons ?

Not happy with the weather forecast for the next 10 days 7 days of rain of various intensities then light cloud followed by two days of Sunny Intervals.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Wednesday 7th May 2014

Picked up another sack of instant concrete and went to Wilkingsons late afternoon to pick up some Gravel Trays for the greenhouse picked up some doubles, singles and half trays.

I really don't want to be spending time pulling everything out to water all the time.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Watering visit to the allotment, on the way back I picked up 2 bags of sub base, 1 bag of sand and 1 bag of instant concrete and the paving and the insitu concrete behind on the Greenhouse landing is done and so is my shoulder 

I need to pick up similar quantities to complete the cold frame landing when I get a moment, and I have a lot of rubbish to get to the dump at some time tomorrow.

Thinking about erecting the space saver greenhouse in the kitchen and then taking outside once done

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Monday 5th May 2014

Emma was not too well today so it was a takeaway lunch and a family movie. So apart from lunch and the movie it's been all about the back garden today.

Having completed the fencing on Saturday last night I cleared the cold frame and re-located it at the bottom of the path and had a good clear out of the rubbish and sacks of sand and soil, so I could get a flying start today.

Lifted the slab and used the concrete kerbs saved from the front garden to build two steps on the paved area to the right of the path as you look up the garden. The fist level will be for the cold frame, the second for my space saving greenhouse.

Ran out of sand and could not lay the last 3 paving slabs, and there will have to be a visit to the dump tomorrow to get rid of the debris and rubbish I have cleared. There are also some sacks of old compost that can go to the allotment.

There also need to be a trip to Been and Queued to get some sand and some instant concrete.

I will jet wash the slabs and the green off the fence panel and the side of the plastic store. The fence panels will get a lick of paint and then the cold frame can go back and I will have the joy of putting together the space saver greenhouse which by accounts is not easy.

Monday 5 May 2014

Sunday 4th May 2014

Up and out early on the allotment by 6:30 - cold to begin with until the sun moved around onto my plot.

 * Comfrey harvested and the pipe filled all the way to the top
 * Filled a hessian sack with Comfrey and put in the comfrey water butt
 * The last of the Tomatoes Gardeners Delight and Sweet Baby potted on
 * Bed 1 Weeded and watered
 * Spring Onions transferred to Bed 2
 * Onions sown in bed 2
 * Last two flower buckets of potatoes topped up with compost and all watered
 * Runner Beans sown
 * Beetroots 2nd Batch sown
 * All plants in the greenhouse watered
 * Bamboo frame 2 - for runner beans constructed ready for strings
 * One large sack of rubbish removed
 * Only 3 sweet corn now not showing   

I noticed that the potato plants have slight frost damage but nothing to worry about really, they are growing so tall and pushing the fleece up. It looks like we are going to have low temperatures again at the end of next week so I will leave the fleece in place for the moment. 

I left the allotment and home just after 1pm, a good mornings work but I didn't get time to dig bed 11 which was really my main aim, but all this other stuff needs doing as well, and the sweet corn will forgive me if it's not done for a couple of weeks.

Family want a family day tomorrow and I need to get the back garden done and my greenhouse erected.

Friday 2 May 2014

1st May 2014

Being more than a little worried about the warnings re ground frost over the next few days I went to the allotment following dropping off Emma at work and moved all the seed trays into the two grow houses within the green house and closed the zippers up.

As I walked up to the plot and the green house Basil poked his head over the gate I have to my storage area beside the shed. He panicked but bounced off the back of the upturned wheel barrow, bounced off and up the wood onto the brick wall behind then strolled off as if he was not bothered. So now I know it's him and not cats that keep knocking things over in there. 

More sweet corn showing their little heads and those that came thru an couple of days ago are already 10-15mm high

Thursday 1 May 2014

Wednesday 30th April 2014

Dropped off my daughter to work at the hospital nursery as she is on a late shift and will not find a parking space and as half way to the allotment continued to drip off grass cuttings for the compost bin and to pot on some more of the tomatoes.

Managed the Lizzano and one other can't recall which one now, plus watered the sweet corn more now showing their little heads, it really amazes me how quickly sweet corn grows. A bit of a tidy of the trays on the racking and a light watering.

Spent about an hour and half on the plot and I really did not feel like I'm achieving anything significant, but the little plants need potting on. Some were already too big for vending machine cups so they have gone into 90x90mm square wilko pots.

I used the bottom of a pop bottle and filled with water retaining crystals and filled with comfrey water. these went in the bottom of the square pots already fat with water and mixed up with about 10mm of compost before the toms went in. 

Evening visit to cover the strawberries with fleece after seeing the weather forecast, the only one on the site or so I thought - potted on some more tomatoes but felt like I was being watched all the time then saw him as I went back to the car.