Friday 31 October 2014

New Pop Bottle Slug Trap

Tonight I made two Pop Bottle Slug Traps for my over wintering Bed

1) I cut the top off a POP bottle
2) Marked up little arch openings at third points on the bottle and cut out
3) Cut the bottom off a pop bottle
4) Place the top half over the bottom
5) Using a soldering Iron spot weld the two halves together

Take to the allotment

6) Open top and fill with Beer for Beer Trap
7) Open top and put blue pellets of death in - the pellets will stay dry and
    other wildlife can't get at them easily
8 ) Put cap back on
9) Bury in the soil just below the bottom of the opening

Job Done .....

Sunday 26 October 2014

Beetroots, Onions, Sprouts & Runner Beans

Clocks back an hour and a good five hours on the allotment today, dry and warm for the time of year. Four black bags of leafs taken to the allotment.

I applied some growmore to the bed and then planted 50 Medium Flavour Senshyu Yellow Onion sets, 5 rows for 10 onions in the remaining half of bed 9 and then erected a new Hoop debris netting cage over the bed to stop the birds for pulling out the onions.

I measured and drilled the longitudinal plastic braces that are fixed to the hoops and mid height and down the sides. So much easier to set up the hoops and fix the bracing with cable ties.

I then harvest all the remaining beetroots in bed 2 before clearing the leafs from the spouts. I harvested sprouts from the bottom of the plants where they were large enough. The foliage from the tops of the beetroots, the sprout leafs and comfrey once again filled up dalek 2 and then topped up dalek 3

Ash from the incinerator was also added to dalek3. More runner beans harvested for the seed circle.

Friday 24 October 2014

My Triffid Thinks I'm Mad!

Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th October 2014 - I did have a quick session yesterday picking up leafs that had blown into the garden following the high winds as the rubbish bins were out. I managed to fill up a black sacks worth.

Today the wife needed to be dropped off around her sisters to baby sit and said " I expect you will be off down the allotment" No Babe too much work to do. But I did manage to fill another 3 black sacks with leafs from the pavement in front of my neighbours houses.

I had suggested to my little triffid that I might do this in the past, and was informed I was mad....

Now I'm just waiting for her to spot the sacks, or if I'm really lucky I may get them to the allotment without her catching on. (like that's going to happen)  I have been wracking my brains trying to think where else I may find lots of leafs but without all the garbage.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Up at 5:30 and it was raining and I was not quite sure I was going to get an allotment day in. But it stopped about 6:30 and I was on the plot just after 8:00 once the daylight had arrived.

I took a whole lot of cabbage back as compost, two sacks of paper shredding's and that went into dalek 3, Moved a staging down by bed 11 cleared the weed membrane off bed 10  (which will have to go home to be welded to stop further fraying) and set about digging up the potatoes. I left them to dry out on a plastic tray on the staging

Bed 15A and 15B were tidied and the carpet from Bed 4 was laid and then the two half's of the inflatable bed put over the top keep the rain off so hopefully I can remove and dig and sieve through the winter months if we get some dry Sundays. Bed 4 now being cleared I dug out the few weeds. As I uncovered the stack of carpet two little field mice ran off. I shall have to keep a lookout for the little blighters I don't want them setting up home in the wood stack or god forbid the shed or greenhouse.

I harvested potatoes & dry runner beans from the first frame and cut the strings and foliage down, that went in the incinerator to dry out to be burnt at a later date. The Minty Frame to the second frame has collapsed, I suspect the wind had al lot to do with that, but for the moment I waiting the runner beans to die so I can harvest the beans for the seed circle on the Allotment Gardening forum.

The picture above is a fish eye panorama from plot 2 looking at my plot

Bed 9 has the spring onions in and Bed 10 is now covered I will be re-digging looking for potatoes as I've no doubt missed some and they are a real pain in the bum when they come up the following year. Bed 11 has the new sprout frames laying on damp proof membrane to stop it blowing away. I need to get into Bed 12 (you can just see the bottom of the netting) to remove the leafs that are dropping off the sprouts soon (more food for the compost bins).

Bed 4 now covered for winter in for foreground, I have harvested the Beetroots from bed 3 and started to weed and have also harvested the last of the Marketmore cucumbers, I ran out of time and didn't get to remove the weeds from the mesh. Putting Bed 3 to sleep for winter is a job for the next dry Sunday visit.

All tools packed away and I staggered back to the car with a huge Harvest of Potatoes, beetroot, cucumbers and runner beans for seeds. left for home and Sunday lunch just before 1:00 pm all in all a good five hours work and very little down time

 1. Clean up the falling leafs from the sprouts and add to the compost & start harvesting the sprouts from the bottom up
 2. Next Sunday which at the moment is supposed to be dry - Harvest the late potatoes and cover   
 3. Harvest dry beans and they appear <---- Some Today
 4. Harvest the Beetroots <---- Some Today
 5. Sieve Beds 15a and 15b
 6. Harvest Potatoes in the Buckets
 7. Remove Pea Frame from Bed 7 - manure and cover
 8. Start clearing the greenhouse of trays etc.
 9. Trim Back the grape vines <---- Some done
10. Deal with the encroaching brambles and weed from plot 1
11. make some 1.2x1.2 timber hoop frames up ready for next year
12. Make some pea frames up ready for next year 

Saturday 18 October 2014

Fixing Shaggy Planting Membrane

No allotment but I did weld the edges of two cut sheets of weed membrane that I brought back home from the plot as they were fraying - Had to fight the wind and weight them down to work on them because it was so windy, but it was not cold for the time of year about 19 degrees.

Sunday 12 October 2014

A not so early start as it's getting darker and darker in the morning. I took compost from home and a sack of paper shredding's with me and attacked Beds 15a and 15b later called 15 & 16 the courgettes and Marrows. I dug up the woodchip around the beds that had rotted down and alternated brown, green - comfrey - brown green - comfrey and have ended up filling dalek 3 to within 3 inches of the top.

Whilst clearing I found many slugs and snail and dispatched them to snail and sluggy heaven and they I found Fred (picture below) a truly mashousive specimen (It's no wonder with the amount he has to eat this year)

So job for better weather is to dug up and sieve beds 15a and 15b and install the timber as edging as there is a bit if a difference in levels - install the concrete kerb edging and sort out what I'm actually going to do with the last two trees - I feel I need to be able to get out half way along the plot so I may put one up by the entrance by the bench and table / comfrey bed.

The sun did shine for a little while and it was quite warmish for October by the time I was ready to come home after cutting up all that stuff and my wrist is feeling it a little. So paths re laid and home about 12:30 ish with a Pumpkin that Barry left for me.
Job List - In no particular order

 1. Clean up the falling leafs from the sprouts and add to the compost & start harvesting the sprouts from the bottom up
 2. Next Sunday which at the moment is supposed to be dry - Harvest the late potatoes and cover
 3. Harvest dry beans and they appear
 4. Harvest the Beetroots
 5. Sieve Beds 15a and 15b
 6. Harvest Potatoes in the Buckets
 7. Remove Pea Frame from Bed 7 - manure and cover
 8. Start clearing the greenhouse of trays etc.
 9. Trim Back the grape vines
10. Deal with the encroaching brambles and weed from plot 1]
11. make some 1.2x1.2 timber hoop frames up ready for next year
12. Make some pea frames up ready for next year

Saturday 11 October 2014

Pepper Problems

A trip to the allotment to water the peppers and if by chance they had ripened harvest and what do I find a hole in my pepper - I did find a very small snail in the greenhouse so not sure if he was to blame but he attracted my wrath.

Pulled the staging out and turned it around so that I can put the growhouse in the greenhouse once again to try and increase the amount of time the rest of the peppers have to grow and ripen before the plants die of cold

Cabbages are being attached by slugs despite the blue pellets of death, 4 got harvested and 50% of them got chopped up and went into dalek 2 filled it up again and then dalek 3. topped both of with some comfrey for good measure.

Filled up another 2 plastic milk bottles with sand to make soft bricks. Barry donated 3 cucumbers and is going to sort me out a pumpkin from his patch. 

Update - forgot to mention taking the debris netting down on the gable end to let more light get at the peppers.

Monday 6 October 2014

Harvesting & Composting

You may have noticed that there was not a Sunday morning visit this weekend - I decided to stay home and work on the shaggy weed membrane melting the edges and the holes so they last longer and don't fall apart.

I've repaired a potato and the strawberry sheets and have extended a cross on the holes on the strawberry sheet so its easier to plant and maintain. As I have had bind weed problems in the strawberry bed this year and I didn't deal with it when I first noticed it, and I want to be able to lift the membrane off and deal with anything growing underneath and then replace the membrane. 

We have had a frost over the weekend so I visited to check on the peppers in the greenhouse, I'm hoping they will turn before they die. I harvested most of the cucumbers (5) leaving 2 on the plant that now does not look too happy but they are still a bit small so we will see.

Harvested runner beans for the beans, I have left the smaller ones on the plant to do what they can so I get enough beans for the seed circle 20 people x 10-15 bean each = 200 - 300 beans I shall need. There are quite a few drying off on top of the fridge freezer in the kitchen.

The rain came and I had a tidy in the greenhouse, it slowed down and I managed to top up dalek 2 with more marrow foliage, which is now on the turn but is also now so thin due to my efforts with each visit that I can see the cardboard.

heavy rain finally stopped play even though I had another hour of allotment time scheduled into the day. I brought another shaggy potato weed membrane home with me and if and when we get dry weather I will melt/ trim it up for use again next year. I have purchased some 30 litre buckets to grow potatoes next year.

Friday 3 October 2014

Swift Visit

Drawing in the morning and finally got all 10 drawings completed and ready to submit for planning, emailed over to the client for final review. So a swift visit to water the peppers in the greenhouse and the plants on the allotment as we still have not had any rain.

Carried on cutting back the marrows and courgette area and dalek 2 had once again dropped about four to five inches. I took the compost mixing tool I bought from Kleeneze with me and I have to say, I'm not really convinced how much good using it is doing? I guess I'm adding air into the equation lower down again.

An hour later dalek 2 is once again full and dalek 3 is getting topped up and an hour of cutting up foliage is enough for one day. Harvested some runner beans for the seed circle, the spring onions in bed 2 are looking very sad for themselves. The beetroots are really coming on I will give them a few more weeks and then harvest another batch to pickle.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Every Little Helps

According to reports it was the driest September since records began, looks like everyone has forgot the flooding at the start of the year. I have been drawing most of the day and I had to get away from the computer and rest my eyes for a little bit late afternoon. As I had not been down the allotment for over 36 hours I decided at a visit to water the peppers in the greenhouse was in order.

I also watered what crops are still viable plus washed the demolition dust off the greenhouse. I topped up dalek 2 with the foliage from the marrows and courgettes and found a few more to harvest in the process. Once dalek 2 was topped up again I started on dalek 3. About an hour spent in total but as a certain superstore says Every Little Helps.