Sunday 31 May 2015

Muderellas Get Muddy at Clapham Common

Weather forecast says rain all day, stupid thing is I will need to go to the allotment to water what's in the green house and little house extension.

Update - I waited until the girls went for their Muderellas Get Muddy at Clapham Common for Cancer then popped down, watered what needed it and filled Delak 4 with the flowers they sent my Daughter from her last Job to her new Job. They took her on full time and now three week in they have called them to a meeting to inform them they are moving that particular office to Wales, but she could relocate.!!

Left to right Kelly Emma and my niece Kristy
A few more clips on the grapes vines, the two vines that were reaching out for each other are now touching, I will get a photo next visit.

Potted up the tomatoes as they were quite frankly in desperate need, and edged pots with coffee grounds to ward off slugs and snails. Started cutting comfrey as the heavens opened and I came home, but it was a productive hour. 

Friday 29 May 2015

Friday 29th May 2015

Up at 5:30 washing 2 litre pots at 7:30 for potting on more tomatoes from vending machine cups. 8:30 - 4:00 Working

4:00 A swift visit to the allotment to drop off the French beans and water what's in the greenhouse. It's been overcast, heavy rain and hail stones on and off all day and as I left home it was dry and sunny and the rain started again as I got to the bypass. I arrived at the allotment sat in the car with hailstones bouncing off for 20 minutes the a break in the cloud cover and half an hour of sun.

Watered the stuff in the greenhouse, its been that cold that the automatic vent was closed. A few more clips on the grape that appears to have grown another 75mm in the last couple of days, then home just in time for the next downpour.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Installing Hoops and Planting Cabbages and Cauliflowers

Update Video after a late afternoon visit on Wednesday 27th May 2015 after installing hoops and planting cabbages and cauliflowers in Bed 2 and Sprouts in Bed 3

Sunday 24 May 2015

Sunday Morning on the Plot

Really nice and warm got to the allotment early about 8 and came home at 1 - five hours flew by and I still didn't get everything done.

01. Runner beans poking their heads up so I fixed the strings to the bamboo minty frame
02. Inserted the 2.4m timber edging into Bed 1 and in the process
03. Removed the old woodchips that are now 3 years old and basically good compost and put some in compost dalek 1
     and 4 as they both needed a layer or brown
04. Barrowed now woodchip for the paths around bed 2, then found I didn't have the membrane to put
      in the cauliflowers

05. Made modifications to the skyscraper sprout frame - found netting and cable tied the joint and fitted the netting

06. Cut stakes for the spouts and installed with the plants this year!
07. Planted the 4 sprouts my brother-in-law gave me complete with root fly collars
08.  Found and dispatched the slug and snail to sluggy heaven that have demolished my cauliflower and sprouts
09. Ran a wire between the two eye bolts on the horizontal of the trees - I have mini apples on one branch.
10. Watered everything that needed watering inside and out

11. Cut a flower bucket of comfrey and filled the pipe up
12. Fixed a new rope to the comfrey pipe weight.
13. Moved the weed tea down to the comfrey and nettle tea

There are lots of flowers on the strawberries and a few are starting to go red  :)

There are the starts of bunches of grapes forming on the grape vine  :)

Saturday 23 May 2015

There is life in the Birdbox!

I noticed at breakfast this morning (23rd May 2015) that a few years on the tree and being vacant, someone has found the home I built and is building a nest inside.

I made some gutter racks and took them to the allotment and cut some guttering and planted peas - watered the plants in the greenhouse and the plot and recovered the weight from the comfrey pipe that the rope broke yesterday.  

Thursday 21 May 2015

Crimson Crush Arrive!


A lunch time visit to water the greenhouse stuff, weeded the strawberries and noticed that I have a plastic milk bottle container of pure comfrey from the comfrey pipe. But horror of horrors the string on the weight has broken and I now have to disassemble the pipe and recover the weight. Too messy and smelly a job for a lunch time visit.

Got home and postie had been with two crimson crush toms for me - they got potted straight ways and I got a lot of stick from the wife re moving fast and not doing her jobs so quickly  :nowink:

It has to be said they don't look very small tomato like, but there again I have never bought plug tomato plants. 

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Extended Lunchtime Visit Video Update

What I managed to get done in an extended lunchtime visit on Tuesday 19th May 2015

As a certain supermarket says "Every Little Helps!"

Monday 18 May 2015

Forgot the screwdriver attachment for the drill - Doh!

Rain in the morning so no extended lunch visit today, but I did manage to pop down in the evening to water the carrots under the solar tent, and half have been consumed by invisible slugs! Barlambs I didn't put a trap inside the solar tent thinking the would not get in so it must have been the small ones in the ground come out to play  >:(

The debris netting on the ridge had drooped because of the high winds this morning as I had forgot to bulldog clip it so I added some more all round.

I tried taking the top of the grape either way and one of the branches snapped on be Bummox to quote GG.

Roberts plot was being retaken by nature was there clearing it once again, appears he has been unwell recently and he was surprised how much had grown. Looking at other plots the weeds have really grown in the last fortnight. We chatted for as while, and I passed on some seeds as he is a newbie and it's not as if I don't have enough.

Watered the plants in the greenhouse, and I was going to fix the hoops on the frame of bed 16 the realised I didn't have the screwdriver attachment for the drill - Doh!

Sunday 17 May 2015

Nice warn dry day (A week of rain to follow according to the weather report. Dismantled the staging that going to a new home as I really don't need two outside the greenhouse and its basically just getting in the way. Surbie came over for a tomato exchange, a 2 and 6 tour and some slug traps. (Beryl you really need a real car lol)

Then I cleared out behind the shed, and again mucked out the greenhouse so I can get plants on the shelves from home, and hopefully some toms. Top of the growhouse is now clear of slug traps, what remain and now stored behind the shed, and looking at it I will not need to make anymore for some time.

Fixed the Debris netting to the greenhouse

Trained the Grape a little, but need to do the top.

Planted poached egg plants in the bean trench

Watered the carrots under the solar tents and removed the solar tents from the potatoes now the temperatures have gone up a little.

Drilled and fixed eye bolts so that I can start to train the apple trees on the wall.

Here is a quick video

Saturday 16 May 2015

Back Garden

Cutting grass and more patching up of the lawn around the stepping stones to the pot shed.

Friday 15 May 2015

Drying Sand and Coffee Grounds

A swift water the carrots that are under the solar tent visit, and a little more clearing the dross out of the greenhouse. If I keep at it I may be able to actually use the greenhouse for what it is intended for  :nowink: rather than drying sand and coffee grounds.

Some of the Toms in the space saving greenhouse are touching the ones on the shelf above, so the larger ones are now living on the top layer. They need potting on and sorting out and I have a special guest coming to the allotment on Sunday morning to swop some Toms and have a 2 and 6 tour 

Thursday 14 May 2015

It's a Lark!

After a restless night an early start, and some work done well before 9, the rain stopped so I dashed out and sowed two cat litter trays full of 12 flexi pots worth of Lark sweet corn. I need 18 for the plot and last year sowed the excess in the margin between the central foot path and the bed.

Squirrels or magpies stripped half of my corn last year so any barrier will come down as soon as they reach mature height and I'm thinking of covering the corns in pop bottles this year. 

Evening Visit - Over Winter Onion Harvest

Evening visit to water the carrots, cabbages, peas, runner beans, spring onions and onions.

Harvested the over winter onions as some are going to seed and others are dying. Took some cans of drink down and put in the tin box in the shed.  Did a little weeding and raking of the onion bed and I will plant beetroots in the area that is free.   

The grape vine appears to be growing about an inch a day and I have put more rings on to try and train it this year to follow the wires. Last year I just let it wonder around on it's own.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Extended Lunchtime Visit II

The tree that isn't in the ground yet was once again blown over by the wind, so I bit the bullet and re potted in a large bucket  along the boundary between my plot and plot 1

Placed the collars on the cabbages and managed to muller one, thank god for spare plants, quickly fixed.

Something had been a chomping anyway so slug pop bottles in each corner and watering pop bottles with the bottom cut off and holes made around the top and in the cap have been placed in the cross holes made in the membrane and the bed has been watered on the surface and at depth.

The beading along the ends of the netting and the use of the soft bricks is so much faster to play with than the tent pegs I usually use.

I wanted to plant the Scarlet Emperor Runner Beans in the second bean bay that has been prepped so I had to move the sprout hoops so I decided to try and get the frame erected. Currently there is a tie missing at the bottom of the first hoop and only one longitudinal brace either side. I did bodge up a sway brace to plum the thing but I'm not happy with what I thought was going to be a solution. A rethink for next year is in order and I'm guessing its going to be a solvent weld with water pipe on the top kind of thing.

Scarlet emperor runner beans now sown.

Some more dross removed from the greenhouse and I've found my sweet corn flexi pots so they can go in. 

Bed 1 - Cabbages
Bed 3 - Sprout Frame Mk I Version 
Bed 16 Onions from the other direction

Tuesday 12 May 2015

An extended lunch time visit

An extended lunch time visit - managed to get the hose sorted out and found the in-line connector in the shed. In the process I also managed to tidy up the shed so it's in a much better shape than it was, the boxes with lids have replaced lots of bags and plastic containers/ Tupperware of bits and bobs and it is now generally more rodent proof, and easier to keep tidy (that's the theory anyway). However having that tidy means there is a lot of dross in the greenhouse that will need to be bagged up to be thrown away as a result.

I managed to get the Ishikura spring onions and the Alisa Craig Onions into Bed 16

More comfrey cut and added to Dalek 4 and coffee added to both Daleks 1 & 4 and watered in.

Peas are doing well and the grape appears to be growing about an inch a day.

Bind weed in the strawberries so that needs sorting fast before it takes the bed over completely

Monday 11 May 2015

Cherry tree has cherries on it!

Moved all the potatoes along the boundary with plot 1

Cherry tree has cherries on it!

Finally cut up the last two lengths of timber joist and painted. Erected the timbers in Bed 1. placed the carpet in the enclosed secure area where the wall that's falling over is likely to land. Moved the hose and found that the birds have been at it and it sprays out. So a repair job and extension is now in order as it no longer cuts across the secured area and needs extending anyway.
Drilled more plastic lateral braces for the hoop frame over the cabbages that have been planted In Bed 1.

Brother in law has given me some 4 sprouts, 3 marrows and a butter nut squash plant he is not going to use.

So busy I didn't even get time to take any photographs, could not use the hose so I had to use the greenhouse water butt and the watering can.   

Sunday 10 May 2015

Cutting membrane to size and adding holes

Cutting membrane to size and adding holes and slots for pop bottle watering points for cabbages, cauliflower sprouts.

Friday 8 May 2015

A trip to see if the blow a way had!

A trip to see if the blow a way had, and it had! breaking the frame when it did so.

Some flowers and shredded paper went into the compost bin dalek 1 along with some more comfrey from the patch.

The Comfrey pipe has started producing the liquid gold.

Removed the solar tent and watered the carrots, and a fellow plot holder has left me some fresh parsnip seeds from last years parsnips that have gone to seed so direct sow.  

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Greenhouse Update

Burpless Cucumber
Cabbages and Tomatoes
Greyhound Cabbage  


Parsnips and Beetroots

Alison Craig Onions

Yet More Onions

Spring Onions and Tomatoes

Spring Onions

More Tomatoes

And Even Yet More Tomatoes

There are 3 trays in the grow house but I will photograph those later when it's dry.

Last night ordered a Solar Powered Oxygenator pond water oxygen pump with one air stone aerator for my compost tea, nettle and comfrey brewing so that the brews don't stink too bad and are hopefully a bit better than just leaving the water to stagnate.

It's another boy toy to play with on the allotment - I may have some stones and tube in the shed somewhere from the days of the goldfish and I may be able to hook up a couple of air stones one in each bucket

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Star Wars Day 2015

Cut the grass in the back garden and produced another sack of cuttings for Dalek 1. I patched up in front of the BBQ again with grass seed and this time covered with sieved compost and a dressing of cut grass to try and camouflage what I had done from the pigeons that appear to have developed a grass seed radar.

I have also take a garden fork to the lawn to try and aerate it a little.

A trip to B&Q to pick up more compost for home, 3x 50L sacks for £10 as easier to carry and store than the large 125L for just under £7. It's a much better quality than the larger sack I bought a few weeks ago.

I have sieved a flower bucket full ready for more sowing French and Runner Beans when I get a chance this week.

Monday 4 May 2015

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies

Wet start so I made labels for my next batch of sowing until the rain stopped and then I had 3 hours on the allotment, weeding Bed 14, filling dalek 1 with alternating layers of Comfrey, woodchip, coffee and compost that didn't pass the sieve. I erected the pea frame and I'm thinking another linked together would make a jolly good frame to net the peas against pea moth.

Home for Pizza and The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies as negotiated with the wife as my girls are off to see Olly Murs tonight and are making an afternoon of it as well. 

Watered the carrots that are under the sun tent

Sunday 3 May 2015

Sieving Compost & Transplanting Tomatoes,

Spent all day sieving compost and transplanting tomatoes, and I now have 75 of them sitting in vending machine cups in 5 trays. There are still a few small toms in the indoor mini greenhouse behind the kitchen patio door. I also transplanted 30 Red Baron Onions from the seedling modules 15 into a tray module and 15 into vending machine cups.

Sorted out the greenhouse and the rest of the tray as my next 20 new ones arrived so now all my trays at home are matching and fit into each other. Half as gravel trays and half have holes, makes watering much easier as I fill the gravel tray with water so that there is 5mm of water in the bottom that gets sucked up by the compost in the vending machine cups.

Loaded the car with the sealant weld pea frame and the large compost and lumps from all the sieving and thay will go into the dalek's on the allotment to continue breaking down. Totally knackered by 6:00 when I finally got everything packed away.

Saturday 2 May 2015

Potatoes and Onions

What was supposed to be a get the potatoes covered against the frost tonight quick visit turned out to be a little longer (well 2 and a half hour visit actually) as the woodchips had arrived and the grass paths had been cut and I HAD an empty dalek 1 :nowink:

HAD because it's now 2/3 full with alternating layers of grass, mulch woodchips, coffee grounds (a whole flower bucket went in thin layers), coco peat, leafs, shredded paper, last years warn out compost from pots and comfrey. Yes flowers are starting to form at the tips of my comfrey and I will need to clear and recharge the comfrey pipe soon. 

I also filled up 3 of the giant tugs with the woodchips, it's obviously pine because of all the leafs and the smell of disinfectant, so I will wait for more wood based woodchip for the path but hold this material for the brown to go into the compost. 

Potatoes in Bed 11 not under the netting are now protected from the frost by two sun tents off bed 14. Some Potatoes that were resting on bed 4 in the big pots are under the hoop and debris netting in Bed 11.

The others have gone under the hoop frame and debris netting on bed 3, except one that is in the greenhouse.

I opened the Onion Bed 9 and removed the volunteer potatoes and harvested some very strong smelling onions if they taste half as hot as they smell Jen and I will be very happy.

Beautiful my Robin was around me again today, then it was time to go home for lunch, and then a structural survey to do this afternoon.