Thursday 31 December 2015

Tarptastic II following storm Frank

Not too cold, nor windy plus a clear blue sky and sunshine this morning so I made a visit to plot 1A to drop off more slug taps and have a check to see if the high winds over the last couple of days had done any damage. A few things blown around and out of place but generally all was good, then onto plot 23B.

Plot 23B had not been so lucky, the sheets I had put down were all over the place and most of the lids and squares I had cut to cover the manure in the flower boxes were gone!!. I took more square flower buckets down to 23B and set about filling them up with manure from the pile at the far gate. 

So a couple of hours of moving manure, filling one dalek, nine square flower buckets and four rubble bags I was just about to lay the large tarp over all the smaller tarps, plastic and weed membrane when I found that I hadn't brought the tent pegs down to the plot with me... Doh!

So home for lunch and me thinking it's another job for another day it would seem! 

Ok I had lunch and then said to the wife, Umm the sky is still clear out there do you think I should go back and cover up all those small bits of membrane and plastic with the large tarp before the rain that is forecast comes?. Getting a "why not it still looks good out there" reply I dashed back and just managed to get it covered before the clouds rolled over and the rain started.

Sunday 20 December 2015


Plot 1A - Drop off slug traps and pick up four more flower buckets and two 2.4m x 1.2m sheets of plastic.

Plot 23B - Strimmed the rest of the plot, Re run the line defining the boundary with my neighbour, managed to get the tarp laid just before the first rain shower. I took refuge in my neighbours green house, then as the rain stopped, I filled the four flower buckets with manure and weeded the area where the shed is to go and covered it with the plastic just before rain stopped play and I had to go home.

I bought two sacks of weeds home with me.

My wife seem to think my plot now looks like a swimming pool, what do you think?

Saturday 19 December 2015

Strimming the grass and weeds

Plot 23B - Strimmed the grass/ weed area as it has been dry and windy for a couple of days. The battery was charged about 3-4 weeks ago and I was amazed just how much I managed to get done before it died. I charged the battery up for Sunday. I also managed to fill up a number of flower buckets to assist in holding down the tarp

Sunday 13 December 2015

Moving Muck

Plot 1A - Dropped off, slug traps and compost plus some weed membrane that it flower bucket size to hold off the weeds.

Plot 23B - Dropped off, 9 Square Flower buckets and filled them all up to brim with stable manure dropped off at the far end of the allotment. The plan is a bucket each corner and mid run. Thing is I actually bought a 5.4 x 7m not 3.5m tarp so I'm going to need a few more flower buckets of manure to hold it down.

In the late afternoon I have bagged two sacks of leaves from the front garden so next trip, drop off bags of leaves at 1A, and pick up a number of square flower buckets then drop them off at 23B and fill them up with manure.

If I can make the time - spread and weight down the tarp.

Monday 7 December 2015


I've bought a 5.4 x 7m tarp to cover the middle section of plot 23B so I'm going to have to make some more soft bricks, I have a load of milk bottles so it looks like a purchase of sand may be in order over the weekend.

Plot 23B is 5.4m wide and 7m will cover nearly 8 beds and paths. So depending on how well this works I may buy another one. If the woodchips come I will cover the tarps in woodchips to help keep them down and block out any light that managed to get to the ground below.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Parsnips & Carrots

Dropped off the blue water pipe to plot 23B and it was very windy. I used the hoops to assist in holding down the tarps, membrane and plastic sheeting that I have covering parts of the allotment. I really need to strim and cover with cardboard held down with plastic membrane anchors. 

It was then off to the shelter of plot 1A which is much less open and prone to high winds. I took paper and cardboard shredding's with me and filled up dalek 4 to the top again and the foliage from the carrots and parsnips topped up dalek 3 which were watered.

As you can see in the video above and the last few the overwintering cabbage is dwindling and I have no idea what can be done to stop it, if 6 slug traps in a 1.2m x 1.2m bed can't keep the little blighters under control what can?

I will definitely do the cut and come again with cabbage looking at bed 1 which needs attention next visit saying that if I remove weeds do I just give the wildlife less to munch on and those cabbages will be stripped?

The soil is so good at Plot 1A and I have put so much work into her, (yes my plot is female) Plus the allotment is so sheltered compared to 23B, the more I think about it, I really don't want to give her up.

I'm thinking plants that need very little maintenance on Plot 1A and those that need more attention at 23B. If I use what I have learnt on Plot 1A in the last 3 years and plant thru weed membrane I can keep the weeding to a reasonable level.

I have been thinking, can I actually manage and keep on top of two plots? It's going to be hard and time consuming but enjoyable and I think managing my working life better and getting in a few extra hours  during the week will help, but only time will tell. 

Come next year I really need to focus on 23B but I can't do a great deal until the weather changes and it's less wet. Paving slabs and a shed are first on the agenda early next year.

Friday 4 December 2015

Cheap Seeds and Blue Water Pipe

My daughters informed me that the last of the packs of seeds at Wyevale were being sold off at 10p a pack so I just had to go and see what I could find, came away with £25.79 of seeds for £1.30

Rubine Brussels Sprouts 2017
Savoy January King 3 Cabbage 2016 Mr Fothergill's
Savoy January King 3 (Winter) Cabbage 2017 Tompson and Morgan
April (Spring) Cabbage 2017
Durham Early Cabbage 2017
All year Round Cauliflower 2017

Tango F1 Hybrid Celery 2017
Bedfordshire Champion Onions 2018

Lettuce Sweetheart 2017
Lettuce Tom Thumb 2018
Lettuce Maureen 2018
Lettuce Tantan 2017

Then the real prize was on the way back one I noticed that the construction site for the new ASDA is about to come to an end and eagle eyes spotted some blue water pipe up against the fence. I stopped and had a word with the site agent and came away with a large reel of 35mm dia pipe that was too large to get into the car.

Lucky I had a saw in the back and I now have 7 massive hoops for another large Sprout enclosure for plot 28B

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Sarpo Potatoes Ordered

Having seen the yields that Dan over at allotmentdiary gets over the last couple of years plus the £1.50 off a trial pack that John Harrison has arranged over at Allotment Garden my order is in for next year and will be dispatched in Mid February.

If you do order any Sarpo potatoes check out the complete order page as they provide labels free of charge and had I not already have ordered I would have bought a couple of their hessian sacks


The original Sarpo and still the most widely known. With 40 years plus heritage Sarpo Mira has the highest resistance to potato late blight (some say the highest overall of any variety). Launched in 2002 this unique variety has characteristics that make it the potato of choice for organic growers and those interested in low input spuds.

Mira is a  large, pink skinned main crop potato that has its origins in pre 1992 Hungary where the collective farm system had a need for high yielding, high dry matter potato that needed little or no chemical sprays and could be stored without the need for refrigeration or anti sprouting treatments.
Sarpo Mira develops to produce a deep rooted (and thus drought tolerant) plant that grows very tall, smothering weed competition as it does so. 

The secret to growing Sarpo Mira is to decide when to harvest.  Mira does not have any natural senescence and as such if left it will continue to grow until or if frost stops it.  As such it can develop very large tubers which have a very high dry matter making them a very floury potato.  This variety is particularly prized in the North of the UK and Irish Republic where this style is favoured.

Seed potato is supplied in sizes between 35mm and 55mm.  The average weight of a seed tuber is 75g.  So expect to receive in the order of the following amounts.  Our product is packed by weight and as such there is no guarantee of numbers which can vary depending on the seed crop harvest each year

1.5kg pack  —  approx. 20 tubers

Sarpo Trial Pack

I also decided to buy a trial pack, ideal for small gardens, beginners and container growers.  Each pack contains 3 x  500g (approx. 8 tubers of each variety) of the following varieties, the total weight of this trial pack is 1.5kg

At the bottom of the page it states seed potato is supplied in sizes between 35mm and 55mm.  The average weight of a seed tuber is 75g.  So expect to receive in the order of the following amounts.  Our product is packed by weight and as such there is no guarantee of numbers which can vary depending on the seed crop harvest each year

1.5kg pack  —  approx. 20 tubers (7 of each approx.)

So we will have to see how large the seed potatoes are and if we get 21 or 24 potatoes when they come.
  • Sarpo Axona – blight resistant, red skinned main crop.  Floury potato idea for chipping, mashing and baking
  • Sarpo Kifli – blight resistant, white skinned second early crop,  Waxy potato with anew potato flavour all year round
  • Sarpo Blue Danube – unusual blue skinned variety with strong resistance to tuber blight.  The perfect roastie!

Sunday 29 November 2015

Rain Stops Play

For me it was a late start, I didn't get to Plot 1A until around 9 ish, Kitchen scraps and flowers topped up Dalek 3 and leafs from the front garden in Dalek 2.

I had a tidy in the greenhouse and potted up the Japanese Onions from the small 20mmx20mm nursery modules into larger 75mm pots. so I now have two shelves full of onions.

There were four milk bottles full of sand that had become brittle and cracked because they are biodegradable and go brittle in the sun. I managed to decant the sand from two into new milk bottles but the others were too damp so the sand is on metal tray to hopefully dry out in the greenhouse if we get a couple of sunny days, I will then fill up some new milk bottles, one thing I have found is that you can never have to many soft bricks knocking around an allotment, and now I have two allotments I'm also using washing liquid and powder plastic containers filled with stones and debris. 

There now being room in the greenhouse some of the timber battens were put in to keep dry so I can cut and paint ready to build a base to a couple of mobile hoop frames for plot 23B. I will also be cutting some up and painting to use at the corners of the raised beds to fix the decking boards together.

I had planned to harvest some more parsnips today, but the rain came and stopped play and I retired gracefully and came home.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Runner Beans and Parsnips

Snow yesterday morning for about 20 minutes that didn't settle but overnight the temperatures dropped well below freezing and there was frost on the roofs, cars and ground. The overwintering onions and cabbages had a nice layer of frost on them when I arrived at the allotment.

The foliage in bed 9 Parsnips and Carrots was all laying on the deck with a frosting.

Continuing with the winter clean up I harvest runner beans for seed, which took most of the morning as I cut up all the bean foliage and stalks as small as possible and topped up daleks 2,3 & 4 which had all dropped about 100-150mm.

By midday the sun was out and nicely warming my lower back which has been playing me up a little the last week or so, and beautiful my robin and I were the only ones nutty enough to be playing on the allotment today.

I started thinning out the parsnips, and from the looks of it there are plenty more to be pulled up, I just hope that the others will continue to grow and I have not left it to late to thin them.

The more I think about it the less I want to give up plot 1A, I have it for another year and two contractors have dropped out of the deal to develop the site behind the allotment. Some one will do it but I will keep 1A for as long as I can whilst getting 23B ready between now and April.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Sprouts and Spring Flowers in the Comfrey Bed

The plan was a 50:50 split between plot 1A and 23B the reality was so much rain yesterday that I continued clearing the paths of weeds around bed 12 and 13 and cleaned up Bed 3 the Sprouts and stayed on Plot 1A all morning.

The excess of red wigglers in Dalek 3 have returned into the compost, it may have been too wet or hot for them, it could have been the liquid from the decaying pumpkins but this morning a half dozen in the lid and some on the surface doing there thing

The second video shows the other areas of work on the plot and a surprise I found in the comfrey bed when I used it all up to use as an activator for the new layers of sprout leafs in Daleks 2,3 & 4 

Wednesday 11 November 2015

More Coffee Grounds

I picked up my sister again last night from work and managed to obtain yet another two sack loads of coffee grounds for my trouble, so today they were taken to the allotment with Plot 1A and stored in the greenhouse until I can dry and decant into containers which I need to try and obtain from my friendly local pizza shop.

If I can find enough containers I will start building up a supply for plot 23B as well.

Sunday 8 November 2015

Senshyu Over Wintering Onions

Plot 1A - Dry (that's important) Not to cold and the sun tried to come out then light rain around 12 ish. The video below is shows and Update on the cabbages, work carried out during todays visit, clearing and covering beds and plant out Senshyu Over Wintering Onions grown from seed and a Dalek full of Red Wigglers.

From 12:00 - 1:00 I was on Plot 23B - talked to my neighbour for a little while then covered up the dug areas that have started to re grow weeds. Made more weights using washing tablet and powder plastic boxes and plastic cylinders. I need to weld some more 2.4x1.2m sheets.

Next Sunday Visit to be a 50:50 Plot 1A & Plot 23B endeavour.

Friday 6 November 2015

Freecycle comes up trumps again..

Freecycle comes up trumps again, picked up an nice large square compost Dalek that comes apart for easy transporting and emptying.  I have now dropped it off and put it back together on plot 23B.

It appears that the area I had cleared at the end of the plot and had not covered has couch grass re growing and the path along the bed I have covered up has small weed seedling growing. Looks like I need to get some cardboard or membrane down there pdq!. 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Goffee Grounds, Pumpkins & Parsnips

My sister managed to acquire a box and a sack of coffee grounds which I collected when I picked her up last night from behind the coffee shop.

So this morning a visit to plot 1A to drop them off and also feed the Halloween pumpkins to Daleks 3 & 4,

The red wigglers were going mad and many were on the underside of the lid of the Daleks.

I decanted the dry coffee from the greenhouse into a 70 litre storage bucket
with lid and one of the sacks into another 70 litre storage bucket with lid.

Some has been laid out on trays to dry and the rest has made it on top of the pumpkins in the Daleks.

After 3 weeks of wanting to see how the parsnips are doing in bed 9 I finally pulled a couple from the edge and I was pleasantly surprised with what came out of the ground. I will try and thin what's in there and leave some to get larger and wait for them to get hit by the frost before I harvest them, hopefully for Christmas Dinner.

I have harvested half of the carrots from the end of the bed and I will get the other half after Emma and I have noshed our way through them.

Monday 2 November 2015

Monday 26 October 2015

Storage Units for the Shed

On my way to the post office to send some important documents, I made a swift visit to Plot 1A to get some tarps and visqueen to cover a small three draw cabinet and four draw plastic storage unit my youngest daughter is throwing out now she has redecorated her bedroom.

These will be used in the new shed (when I order it and it arrives) to help me keep organised. I had to wait for the sun to dry off the larger visqueen sheet so I crumbled up the dried coffee and decanted it from the trays in the greenhouse into an air tight storage bucket with lid. I then re filled the trays with the coffee my sister got me last week to dry off in the greenhouse. I love it when the greenhouse smells of coffee.

I dropped the tarps and sheets of visqueen off at 23B and then went home for lunch.

In the afternoon I loaded up the furniture into the car and popped it down to plot 23B and covered it up. It's truly amazing how quickly the grass and weeds are growing back on 23B. I may have to take the strimmer down again next weekend if the weather is OK.

A bit busy to take more advantage of the nice weather but hopefully I can get a few hours in during next week.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Small Harvest and Planting Cabbages

The weather is holding and the clocks went back and hour so that's an extra hour in the morning on the allotment. Plot 1A was the target this weekend as I have not been paying her enough attention because or 23B.

I took the winter cabbages that have grown really nicely in the space saver greenhouse at home, and managed to get half of them into bed 16 after removing the carrots from it and the few weeds. I've planted them very close together so they form smaller more leafy plants (well that's the theory anyway)

I also harvested spring onions, beetroots and butternut squash and started filling the compost bins 2, 3 & 4 up again with the foliage. Bed 8 was nearly cleared of weeds but I ran out of time. The plan for the next visit is to complete clearing Bed 8 and plant the overwintering cabbages in there for early spring greens next year.

We had run out of potatoes at home so the last potatoes came home from the allotment shed.

Time goes way too fast when on the allotment and I didn't get as much done as I wanted!

Sunday 18 October 2015

Clearing and Marking the Boundary

Another morning on the plot, I cleared the back right corner and moved Adams sacks of compost to behind his shed and found lots of broken sheets of glass, so I will have to find something to put them in so I can dispose of them safely.

The new battery strimmer worked really well and the blades lasted the morning, which is suprising the about of concrete, bricks and debris as in the tall grass and weeds. I strimmed the back footpath which is 5.7m long x 800mm wide and the length of the allotment 20m so that I could put a line from the angle in the ground to the post measured off the concrete path of the plot next door.

I continued digging the end of bed 2 and found even more buried carpet that couch grass had grown through and filled a sack and a half by the time came to go home. I also had amassed more large rocks, half house bricks and filled a number of washing tablet containers with stones from the dug area and the next area I'm working towards.

I fixed the legs to the incinerator and filled with the grass and weeds strimmed along the plot. Had a natter with Joe who gave me some mustard seeds as he does not use them. Saw a Mouse on Adams site, and passed the time of day with my neighbours..

Keith has spent all week on site and has cleared, incinerated with a blow torch and rotavated and covered in membrane. If only I had a job where I had as much time off as Keith gets for doing night shifts. There again I glad that the work keeps finding me and I'm busy.

Saturday 17 October 2015

Strimmer & Incinerator

Amazon had obviously been looking at the cookies I have on my system and what I had been surfing and I received an email from them informing me that there was a special offers on a  TRUESHOPPING® Lithium-ion powered battery cordless grass strimmer edger 18V with free removable height adjuster wheel for £20.99 & 5.95 delivery, so at that price I bought one.

I have a load of the blades from a previous corded strimmer and lawn mower plus the £1 shop used to sell them and I have a few packs in the shed still, so as I will have woodchip paths it will only be the path either end of the allotment to strim and my postage stamp back garden hopefully it will serve me well for two to three years. Ordered on the 15th and turned up today, so the battery went straight on charge so I could use it tomorrow.

Went to Wicks and picked up a galvanised incinerator as they have been reduced from £32.99 to £19.79

Monday 12 October 2015

Mustard Green Manure & The Container Goes

I dropped into plot 1A to feed the compost bin with kitchen scraps and flowers and whilst there saw the neglect that working on 23B has caused, in the form of more weeds in the beds that need attention, so I need to fit in a couple of visits to get it back under control a little.

The Mustard has started to flower so I took the shears to it and cut it down and it can now nicely rot into the soil.

I will give it a couple of weeks of exposure to the elements then It will be dug into the soil and covered with weed membrane for the winter.

I picked up four bread basket bottoms and took them to 23B to use as weights on the blue tarp and brought a couple of sacks of rubbish home for disposal.

At last after a couple of visits from the local authority planning officer my neighbour has finally arranged to have the storage container removed from the front garden.

All done by the driver with the assistance of a remote control unit. It did sway a lot when first lifted and pushed the neighbours white picket fence over a little. Yes that's it on the left with the four gravel boards because of the slope of the garden

Sunday 11 October 2015

Clearing 23B Continues

OK so it looks like the 3 year old strimmer that I have never used is knackered, the choke will not stay where it's put and the tubing and the pipework has perished and all it has done is sit in the shed since I was bought it as a birthday present. I'm guessing it's likely to cost more to repair it than buying a new one and so far I have done without one so do I really need to invest in another?

So strimming being out to the equitation, I looked at the plot and wondered where to carry on working from. I need to get the top end sorted and the sunken area where the wheelie bins are need building up so that I can get paving slabs laid and a shed purchased and erected.

There is an awful lot of stones and hardcore in the first few beds that will assist in building up the sunken area and means I not taking hardcore down the dump. So the top end was my target for today.

Lots of couch grass in the soil and large lumps of hard core, a metal post, decorative pots and a crater that had been lined with carpet and then back filled with stones, rocks and concrete, what the bleeping hell did the previous guy do this for. Apparently the guy who had it before the committee tried to use it as a community  plot was known for digging craters and nobody knew why?

So by the end of the morning I had dug, de weeded and removed hardcore and carpet an area approx. 2.4 x 3.0m which is a bed and the path around two edges.

View up the plot

View up the allotment with beds and paths shown

The plan is to next work the path between the front of the plot and the one dug at the rear of the plot in front of the plastic sheeting and install a weed membrane path and when the woodchip arrives lay the centre path.  Then I will work the area I have covered in the blue tarp as the weather allows working on a bed at a time. Currently it taking around 4 - 5 hours a bed and two paths. So that's about 64 - 80 hours of work or 16 weekends until the all the beds will have been dug.

Umm why did I do the maths?! 

Home for Sunday dinner and then I started painting the fences on the other side of the garden.

Saturday 10 October 2015

More Fence Panels To Paint

Another day of painting fence panels and I managed to get the whole of the fence between us and Sid painted on both sides and the toe . gravel boards have also been freshened up. Picked  up some petrol for the strimmer.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Crimson Crush Toms and Strawberry Plants

Keith my brother in law dropped off a sack of strawberry plants he had dug up from his new allotment, the runners we strange in that they had grown right next to the existing plants because the area was so dense and the root to the strawberries were massive. So I now have a whole lot of strawberries potted up and waiting for me to clear the new plot and give them a home.

I also planted on the cabbage seeding's from the modules in the greenhouse into vending machine cups and found the micro snail that had started munching them and sent him to snail heaven. 

Strange that one or two of the crimson crush tomatoes in the greenhouse appear to be developing signs of blight as they ripen. I keep an eye on all the ripening toms and extract any ill looking fruits as soon as I notice problems.

The Red Robin toms are holding their own and I'm hoping to harvest them as the toms in the fridge and ripening Cherry Toms in the greenhouse not attached to plants anymore run out.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Burn Baby Burn

According to the weather forecast the last dry day in the recent dry spell so first stop was Plot 1A to drop off the grass cuttings and the apples which were quartered and added to the compost bins that keep reducing in level and allow me to keep topping them up, then on to Plot 23B

The morning was largely spent digging out the couch grass and it's network of roots from the rear left corner of the plot where a historical fire had been and there were a lots of big stones, bricks and debris to be found within the long grass.

The rear right corner by the shed was cleared and a huge sack of rubbish bagged for taking home, well actually my sisters as she is away on holiday and has this really empty wheelie bin that needs filling. Before leaving for home I used the plastic sheet to cover up the rear of the plot that is now weed free except a margin with the plot behind mine, but this area needs a second digging and weeding before the infrastructure goes in.

Sunday dinner and then a return visit to get the fire going, armed with my trusty weed burner and a new bottle of gas picked up from Wicks on the way back. I spend some time knocking the timber and the pallets to chase off any wild life that may have taken residence under the heap in the pallets, especially after seeing the slow worm a couple of weeks ago, I don't want to cremate such a beautiful creature.

The 20m hose was connected and it only reached to just behind the guy next doors shed, so the second 20m hose was connected to get me near to the fire should I need it. I must try the other water butt and tap and see if that's nearer to me next time.

I primed pockets of paper and BBQ fire lighters around the heap again making lots of noise to scare off anything then started the weed burner and went around lighting the primed pockets. Well it went up very slowly and the earlier dryer stuff at the front of the plot went first and the later material to the rear went out.

Once it really got going the core and pallet base was like a furnace and it travelled slowly along. I continued raking and digging up weeds and adding them to the pile and then digging a bed properly. One of the residence called to some plot mates nearer the road that my fire was causing a nuisance.

In the UK there are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause. The plot holders told her my smoke was blowing parallel to the road and into the woodland and that if she turned around she would see the source of the smoke was her neighbour four doors away and not from my plot. 

I went up and introduced myself to the plot holders who had so vigorously defended my honour and we had a nice chat. I met quite a few new neighbours this weekend and there is a really nice atmosphere on this site.

 Before and After shot of the allotment. 

From my neighbours plot looking at the smoke rising from mine

Street scape from a couple of plots up from mine

The true culprit of her woes!

Saturday 3 October 2015

Garden Duty or Harvesting Compost

Nice weather again, foggy start and overcast but the sun finally showed it's head mid day and I went about cutting the grass and having a tidy in the garden, picking up the fallen apples before they rot and burn away the grass that I have so carefully nurtured this year.

So basically harvesting compost

Friday 2 October 2015

Pile of Weeds

20 degrees and sunny so a visit to plot 1A to pick up the hoselok reel so I can put the new hose on it ready for when I have the fire over the weekend and to water the plants in the greenhouse that really need to be planted this weekend as well.

Then onto 23B to drop of the hose reel and load it up and put the ends on, and uncover the pile of weeds so they can bask in the sun today, said visitors last nigh decided to christen the exposed soil bless then (with a boot up the rear end)

Thursday 1 October 2015

Taking Advantage of the Mild Weather

Again the weather is too good to miss so I spent the morning from 8:00 - 12:00 clearing the rubbish from plot 23B and digging out the couch grass. I now have a mound twice as large and have left it uncovered to dry out in the sun ready for burning. Came home for lunch and worked

I went down in the evening to cover the huge mound of weeds that had been drying in the sun as I didn't want them to get wet of covered in dew as the idea is to dry them out so they burn. There were two visitors having a nose about on my brother in laws plot which is two down from mine

Play Resumes

A visit to Plot 1A to harvest the crimson crush tomatoes as the plant isn't looking to healthy and it would such a shame to loose the tomatoes, three Butternut squash and top up the compost bins once again.

Then a visit to plot 23B and some further clearance of the path area towards the back of the allotment this afternoon as it's such a bright and sunny day and to good to miss.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Work Stops Play

Work has been getting in the way of plot time for the last week and weekend, but on Sunday afternoon of the 25th I did manage a quick visit to drop off the sack of corn wrappings and shredded paper to top up the compost bins that levels had dropped enough to accommodate it on plot 1A

Picked up a timber pallet from Plot 1A and dropped it off to 23B which now has mini lakes formed on top of the plastic covering the weeds for the fire. With the rush job now being completed and the weather being dry for the next few days and the weekend plus we are going into October and allowed to have fires I'm hoping to get down to 23B and get some more weeds dug out and a couple of fires sorted.     

Picked up a sack of coffee grounds which need to go down to 1A and be spread out on the tin trays in the greenhouse to dry out ready for bagging up to use as fertiliser next year. Some will go into the cores of the compost heaps over winter to keep the heat up and attract the red wigglers in to do their thing.

I really want the end of the plot cleared to get the compost bins in at 23A sorted as soon as possible as composting production at 1A needs to come to an end this year so that the produce can be used on 23B next year, and composting production on 23B will start next year.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Harvesting Swift Sweetcorn

Well between Monday 14 - Saturday 19 not much gardening has gone on, I did manage one visit to offload the BBQ to my daughters boyfriend in exchange for a couple of Daleks although the concept of I will have them if they are "all there" obviously didn't hit home with him as one has no lid!

Saturday 19th September 2015 I started breaking out the old fence post and foundations and erected the new post after screwing on the battens that hold the panel in place. the fence is back in but it needs a couple of tweaks, and behind the ketter store needs cleaning out before I can put the cold frame back in its place. 

Sunday 20th September 2015 the plan was to visit Mill Green Plot 1A and harvest the sweetcorn then go to plot 23B, the reality was that the runner beans had gone nuts, they come home no one in the family needs anymore so my neighbour Sid had them and will no doubt share them with his daughters when they visit.

Dalek 4 had dropped about 225mm 9" and was topped up again with sweetcorn foliage and stems plus a layer of comfrey. Dalek 3 also ended up filled up to the brim. In addition there are so many tomatoes on the Crimson Crush that I have harvest two cat litter tray fill and they are now in residence in the greenhouse to ripen. There are still a lit of fruit on the crimson crush it has to be said they are a prolific tomato and if not too expensive I would buy seeds. I have saved seeds just to see what they revert to next year.

Most of the cucumbers have turned yellow and the plant was dying so I harvested the last two good ones and the rest when into the compost. The Red grapes are starting to take a bashing so I brought a load home.

Once home the skinning and freezing of the corn got underway and the freezer is now restocked with sweetcorn and I hear my darling daughters Emma & Kelly are taking some away with them next week.

There are three Butternut Squash ready for harvesting but I will get them next visit as we have not used the last one I harvested yet.

here is a little Vlog

I ran out of time and didn't manage to get to plot 23B at all this Sunday

Monday 14 September 2015

Harvesting Tomatoes Because of Blight

Following the harvesting of half of the tomatoes in the back garden when I went to Plot 1A in the morning the tomato plants down there were not looking particularly healthy, and some black was appearing on the stems of some of the plants and the leafs were looking blighty.

So all the tomatoes except the Crimson Crush that are out in the open were harvested and brought home.

It was then onto plot 23B. When I arrived the plastic sheet that was over the weeds to keep them dry had blown off and was only being held by a few milk bottles of sand and a lump of concrete I found on the site. So I was very glad that I had come down and that it had not rained, as I want the weeds to dry out so that I can burn them as soon as we are once again allowed bonfires in October.

The large white plastic sheet I found folded up at the rear of the site was covering what I had already dug and I decided to move the sheet down so that it can cover the weeds more effectively.

On lifting the plastic sheet I was confronted by a slow worm taking a nap who suddenly work up looked at me, I looked at him thinking he was a snake until it registered I had seen one of these beautiful creatures on an allotment diary, and he weaved his way into the undergrowth. In hindsight I wish I had get a picture or a video of him but for a "slow" worm he really moved quite quickly and I was just captivated and watched.   

There are lots of stones that need to be shifted and I have been saving plastic washing powder containers, bother the rectangular tablet and the round powder type and I set about filling these with stones to make weights to assist in holding down the plastic sheets.

Met two new neighbours on the plots 2&3 up from mine and had a chat. Derek the site rep told his wife that he was coming down for 10 minutes to check on the sheds following the break ins last week and by time he worked his way from person to person up the allotment it was more than likely an hour or two, but then again wives know that time flies when your down on the allotment.

The short video below shows the allotment how I left it before coming home for Sunday lunch.

The rain forecast for 12 didn't arrive so after Sunday lunch I continued applying coats of paint to the new post, sorting the tomatoes out and placing in the greenhouse to ripen off.

I then continued with the cleaning up exercise around the fence and the fence post. Where my neighbour cuts the hedge all the cutting have fallen down behind the fence and the greenhouse and I was also reducing the level of the hedge on my side, so next year I don't get as big a problem.

It appears that more than likely I will have to move the Ketter store out to clear out the debris and to refit the fencing panel once the concrete has been broken out and the fence post replaced.

Deep Joy!

Sunday 13 September 2015

Garden Duty - Getting Access to the Fence Post.

The garden has not really received the attention it should have this summer. My neighbour has dropped a container in the front garden and now is erecting the mother of all shed in the back garden. I have asked the local authority if he can do this without planning permission as he is running a business from it, and apparently I will get an answer in 2 - 10 days after the Planning Officer has visited and looked at it.

I noticed that the wind appears to finally fractured the base of the post and it and the fence panels either side were leaning in towards my neighbours property.

Not wanting it to fall in and hurt anyone or his new shed I cleared the back path and also the dross stored at the end of the path and had a general tidy. The paved area behind the BBQ  being cleared, I moved the cold frame and its contents onto the BBQ paved area so that I can get to the fence post that has broken.

A trip to Wicks and a new 8ft 3"x3" post then received a coat of paint.  Rain was forecast for the afternoon but none came and I managed to get a few more coats of preservative on the post.

Noticing the early signs of blight, I harvested all the tomatoes from the affected plants and disposed of the foliage and I will be keeping a close eye on the remaining plants and at the first sign of blight they too will be harvested and the plants disposed off.

Friday 11 September 2015

From the 7th - 11th September

OK a very slow week re gardening as too much work to do. A visit to water the toms and harvest on Wednesday 9th. Managed to cut the grass as it had been dry for a couple of days on Thursday 10th and dropped the two sacks of grass together with a carrier bag of flowers and kitchen compost and a carrier bag of paper shredding's to the Allotment on Friday 11th.

I came home on Friday  with a bunch of white and red grapes as well as more tomatoes, the red are not bad but the whites I suspect need a little more time as they are a little sharp. I only picked some as the birds have started on them and I thought the wife would like to see and taste.

If I grow them at the new allotment, I will have to look for seedless and sweet tasting versions if you can get hold of such grapes that will grow in the uk? any comments or advice most welcome.

I may try and move the reds with me once they are dormant and will have to see about the whites once they have had a little more time and I can see if they taste any better.

The weather forecast is for rain over the weekend so it does not look like I will be making much headway on either allotment this weekend  :(