Monday 31 August 2015

Preliminary Plot 23B Layout

Having taken some dimensions yesterday, I'm sketching out and thinking of how to arrange the plot some more. Basically a central path and 2.4m bed on one side and whatever the size is on the other, I know at the top end I will be able to get 2.4m but not sure about the bottom end quite yet.

I've been looking at the sheds and I'm thinking of getting a pent 6ft x 4ft and then perhaps using the back of my existing shed to extend off it in some way making a covered area for growing tomatoes under cover.

I got a telephone call from my brother in law that all the sheds down on the allotment have been broken into. It's too dark now but I will pop down tomorrow to see if anything has gone from the wheelie bin and compost bin that I'm currently using for storage.  So that's 3 brake ins in two years on Spencer Road and at Mill Green we have only had one in 3 years and that was not all the sheds.

It's now making me think about the greenhouse, Is it even worth taking it to the new plot? I will have to see if any random vandalism apart from breaking into sheds has occurred.  I hate the fact it's been raining all day and I have not been able to do anything further on either allotment.

Sunday 30 August 2015

First Video at the New Plot 23B

Visit to Plot 1A first to water the tomatoes and harvest what's ready, then a phone call from my brother in law who has just accepted a plot on my new allotment and he is one plot way from mine 24A. He wanted to take his wife down to have a look.

below is a video of what I achieved on my new plot 23B after we had finished looking and measuring

I'm now thinking about how on earth I'm going to get everything from the old plot to the new plot. I think a new shed is in order and I will ultimately take down the shed at 1A and move it and perhaps use it as a tomato growing extension to the new one.

Saturday 29 August 2015

I have been offered the plot I'm after on Spencer Road

Good News  :) - I have been offered the plot I'm after on Spencer Road
  Bad News  :( - Bloody finger will prevent me getting cracking on it for a couple of weeks

I was so keen to get cracking down there and at least show it had been taken to stop any fly tipping, by other plot holders. The plan is to run both allotments all the time we can still get parking somewhere near, but once the construction works start it will be time to move over 100% to Spencer Road

Bing Maps 01

Various maps at different elevations have different layouts and have obviously been taken at different years. The plot next door is a Mencap site and has a nice wheel chair friendly paved path on the boundary with mine which is not shown on any photo and I can bring my beds right up to the edge of the path. 

Bing Map 02 - Possibly 2011
Google Earth 01 Spring 2015
Google Map 2011 - 2014


Thursday 27 August 2015

Lark Sweetcorn Rescue

Visit  to Water the tomatoes undercover turned into a rescue operation for the Lark Sweetcorn - Footage at the end was taken by my Daughter Kelly during a visit made before I gave her a driving lesson on the evening of Wednesday 26th August 2015

Saturday 22 August 2015

'News at Ten' with Sean James Cameron

I hate it when someone takes on an allotment and then does nothing with it. I have my name on a list for one nearer home and I'm 24th on the waiting list, on others there is no waiting list so I travel to where I could get a plot when I wanted it

Mind you it was well over grown and fly tipped when I got it

My neighbour found a 8ft x 6ft shed at the back of his that could not be seen for brambles!

Thursday 20 August 2015

It's crazy strange typing with one hand

Doctors appointment as what was red behind the nail is now yellow, and he has informed me to go to A&E and get it lanced :ohmy:. On my way back from the doctors, I dropped off the timber given to me by my next door neighbour to the allotment, topped up the gravel trays under the tomatoes with water.

The Doctor told me to always wear gloves on the allotment as it's dirt and germs that get in beside the nail that can kick these things off.

Now waiting for my daughter to come home and drop me up A&E, I'm in for a long wait whatever time I get up there.


3 hours in A&E then a nice lady doctor injected and numbed my finger then cut it open squeezed out the custard then washed and cleaned with iodine, it stunk & bleed a lot then she has wrapped it all up and put me in a sling to keep it elevated to reduce the blood loss into the dressing that will need soaking off and renewing on Monday by the nurse.

Pain killers picked up for when the feelings come back and a good two to 3 weeks or more before, I should be healed up as the skin will not re attach.

bottom line people if you are type 2 diabetic you're prone to these things and general advice from my doctor and the hospital doctor wear gloves all the time on the allotment and scrub your hands well when you are done.

It's crazy strange typing with one hand

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Garden Tom Update

Well the Gartenpearle have started turning red big time, which is good and one or two of the other plants are starting to yellow.

I have one red - Red Robin tomato in the greenhouse, which I will let get really ripe before I pick it for the seed circle.

You may notice that there are now sticks around the plant holding it up, the trunk of the plant could not take the weight of the fruit and it had collapsed so I added the supports. The ones on the high shelf are still much better than those on the bottom of the greenhouse.

Unfortunately despite the antibiotics tomatoes are not the only thing swelling and going yellow!    

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Over Winter Japanese Senshyu Onions

Doctors yesterday to get some antibiotics as my finger as it is getting bigger and is very tender, lets hope they kick in soon you would not think that something like a whitlow could be so painful especially if you knock the bloody thing.

The Japanese Senshyu onions are looking good and only a few modules still to show. I have sown another 60 module tray of Senshyu onions today

It's worth taking a chance on overwintering them despite knowing I have white rot fungus in the soil. I may plant some of them in the flower buckets at home that currently have tomatoes in and have been grown in a mixture of cori and compost.

I could add more compost and some comfrey feed to liven up the soil in the buckets

Watering Visit for the tomatoes today as no visit to the plot yesterday.

I have crimson crush tomato seeds fermenting in egg cups, I'm not sure if they will grow true or will revert to one of the parents but as something had nibbled it and it otherwise would have gone to waste I thought I may as well save the seeds from it to try next year, especially as they are a nice large and tasty tomato.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Bed 12 finally gets framed

Cleared the weeds in the cabbage and cauliflower beds. Still no heads on the cauliflowers. Installed the timbers  to bed 12 by digging out the plastic and forming a heap in the middle of the bed. As I raked the soil back from the heap I extracting stone as I levelled the bed again. I dismantled the 1.2x1.2m decking frame as they are too heavy for portable hoop frames really and made ideal end timbers for the bed. So I have two left over for another bed.

I've sown mustard as a green manure, forgetting I was going to use that bed to overwinter Japanese Senshyu onions so I may have to swap 12 and 11 and put beetroots in 12 and the Overwinter onions in bed 11. 61 of the 72 Onions sown have germinated in the little greenhouse behind the patio doors to the kitchen.

Derek the site rep from Spencer Road Allotment around the corner from mine popped in to see how I was doing.

Harvested French and Runner Beans and a couple of very long cucumbers and a Cabbage today.

Had a tidy in the shed. Topped up the Daleks with Cabbage leafs and grape vine trimmings. 

Friday a small whitlow appeared on my finger and I have applied magnesium sulphate paste and kept of covered but it's now 3 time as big and really tender. I kept if covered today but knocked the blasted thing a couple of times. Slowed me down and I took a few more breaks during the morning on the plot.

Next visit sieve the soil from the Runner Bean trench that is currently in the flower buckets and the pillow mound from bed 11 and top up bed 13. I have enough mustard seed to do another bed of green manure.     

I will have to see if Bob can arrange some more woodchip as its very soil like around bed 12 and weed were taking hold. I do have some in large tugs as a backup if not. 

Saturday 15 August 2015

Planning for 2016

OK so you wake up early and decide you are going to start planning the layout of vegetables on the plot for next year. First Decision is move the strawberries from bed 5 at the moment they may have a new home on the new plot or they may go home.

If I get to the top of the waiting list and get an additional plot one of the sweetcorn beds will be transferred there. I may also move half of the potatoes to the new plot and will definitely be growing tomatoes on the new plot - in grow houses or under fabricated shelters like the extension to the shed.

Picked a Crimson Crush tomato during a watering visit that had been nobbled and nibbled by something and harvested the seed that are now fermenting in egg cups for a few days.   

Sowed more Japanese Senshyu onions and April (Spring) Cabbage that I intend to try and overwinter, also sowed some more Little Gen Lettuce. 

Thursday 13 August 2015

Fall-Harvest Planting Calculator

Watering Visit that became a harvesting visit - Cabbages, Cucumbers Runner and French Beans.

I've been thinking about what else I can sow and have just downloaded the Fall-Harvest Planting Calculator spread sheet from Johnny Seeds
Other spread sheets include
Seed-Starting Date Calculator XLS »This tool figures the dates when it's safe to plant particular early crops outside, based on the frost-free date that you specify.

Succession Planting Calculator  XLS »
This spreadsheet calculator allows you to input the date of your first planting of each crop, then it calculates the dates for later plantings. It also allows you to input your first frost date, counting back the appropriate number of days to determine the last date to plant and still get a crop before frost.

Target Harvest Date Calculator XLS »
Use this tool to coordinate production of one of more crops for harvest by a user-defined target date or otherwise important event. Determine seeding date relative to a specific harvest date.

Fall-Harvest Planting Calculator  XLS »
This spreadsheet calculator works backward from your first frost date to determine the date to start seeds for crops that will mature as it gets cold.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Video Update

Sorry I got a little confused and I really don't have two bed 9's the Lark Sweetcorn and the Crimson Crush Tomatoes live in Bed 10

Sunday 9 August 2015

Compost, Potatoes and Parsnips

Took compost to the allotment and topped up Daleks 1 & 4 to the top again and increased the volume of Dalek3
Cleared the weeds from the Carrot and Parsnip Bed 9 and pulled a parsnip just to see how it was doing and if it's worth thinning yet. Got the length of root but they need to thicken up a little (OK a lot) yet.

Cleared the bread basket bottoms and the blow away frame from bed 10 Sweetcorn and Crimson Crush tomatoes
Dug up all the potatoes from bed 12 - left open to the elements for the moment as I need to sort out the raised timber framing to the bed, then it's going to get some green manure.

Cleared the weeds from bed 16 and sowed a few more rows of beetroot in Bed 15 if they come up all well and good and if not what have I lost apart from seeds  :nowink:

Harvested 3 apples off my two year old tree, found a few red baron onions I missed and came away with more Runner and French Beans.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Red Robin Seed Circle Tomatoes

Back garden cut the lawn and harvest one and a half back sacks of clippings for the compost bins

Trim all the lower leafs off the tomatoes and sort / thin them out, the Seed Circle Red Robins are finally showing fruit on the upper part of the space saver greenhouse but we are still waiting for some on the floor level.

The Seed Circle is run by a lady called Beryl on the allotment forum the basic idea is that we all grow and save the seeds from one or two things we have grown. We send her them and she sends us back all the contributions from about 20 people so you end up with 20 - 30 packs of seed to grow the following year.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Happiness is seeing your first red tomato

Watered the tomatoes, happiness is seeing your tomatoes finally go red

Harvested more Runner Beans 

And the Parks department have finally fixed the timber gates they damaged.

Digging Up Paths for Compost!

A visit to drop off the grass cuttings and other composting material, turned into a digging the oldest path up for brown material for the compost bin and laying new woodchips. The comfrey pipe was opened and cleaned out, and the 200mm comfrey plug was added to the top of Dalek 1 then broken up and watered in. Again layered structure in the compost bin and a 10L flower bucket of coffee grounds added and washed in as the pile was built.

The top of the compost is now around 100 - 150mm off the rim of Dalek 1, which is really not bad going as it was only started a little while ago.

As the comfrey is high and beginning to flower, I cut back all the middle stems and added them to the newly cleaned pipe. The weight is poking out of the top of the pipe and I put a little water in the top to dampen down the comfrey, and get the ball rolling. I have quite a lot of comfrey from last year.

The tops of nettles were harvested and put into one of the plastic sweet boxes that I made a little while ago and its floating away quite happily in the nettle tea water butt. I will load another plastic nettle tea bag the next time I'm down there and have time.

Watered the carrots that are under the sun tent , spring onions, onions and strawberries

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Compost Drop Off

Dropped off the compost and the shredded paper and topped up dalek 1 which has dropped as it's composting and made room for more material to be added. Watered the tomatoes.

Monday 3 August 2015

Planting more beetroots and the last of the spring onions

Dropped the wife around her sisters to baby sit so I went onto the allotment and planted a tray of beetroots and the last of the spring onions in Bed 15 which was the peas and lettuce until recently.

Covered bed 13 over with it's winter weed membrane cover. Watered everything, it's looking like another small harvest of French and Runner beans is on the cards for Sunday.

Trimmed up the grapes and topped up dalek 4 again. Then cleared more rubbish out of the greenhouse, once it is actually clear I will start on the shed and then the area around the shed. Looks like the allotment officer is on leave until Thursday so I will not get an answer until Friday about my second plot. That's one of the reasons I'm trying to get Plot 1A all sorted out and ship shape.

Harvested a load of comfrey, cut it up and primed the comfrey pipe up to the top again.

Made more sand milk bottle bricks, using the dried sand and sand from a couple of bricks where the milk bottle had become brittle. So I have quite a few new milk bottle bricks ready for using over winter to hold down the bed covering weed membrane.

Brought a load of seed trays and modules home.

I forgot to take the kitchen waste compost down to the allotment, but tonight have shredded a load of paper whilst clearing out a filing cabinet (yes isn't my life exciting!) so a visit tomorrow at some stage to feed the compost bins me thinks. I will not be able to stay and I have too much work to catch up on

Sunday 2 August 2015

You're not 23 anymore and you're over weight!

Up at 5am Breakfast then on the allotment by 6am and I worked until 12 :45 and got home for 1pm so about 6 and a half hours of work but now I have stopped my feet are throbbing & letting me know that I should have taken a few more breaks during the morning. Note to self you're not 23 and you're over weight! rest a little more often.

I watered everything and feed the tomatoes with comfrey in the morning and watered the tomatoes just before leaving the plot. Deep watering in bed 14 (Seed Circle French Beans), and the butternut squash has decided to take over the bed.

Harvested French Beans, Runner Beans, Cucumbers, Carrots, Cabbages and Dug the potatoes out of the rest of Bed 13.

Weeded Bed 15 and a general tidy up of all the flower buckets scattered around the plot. and planted Spring Onions in Bed 15. Note to self take the Beetroots in the greenhouse down Monday and Plant in Bed 15.
Cut up Comfrey for Dalek 5 topped up with alternate layers of greens (cabbage, bolted lettuce, carrot greens), brown ( shredded paper & loo rolls and Spent compost) add a sprinkle of coffee grounds and watered in layers and added some "liquid gold" before I left.

I had a tidy in the greenhouse and made soft bricks with the half a sack of sharp sand I picked up off freecycle Saturday and the sand from milk bottles that have become brittle and started to degrade.

Emptied all the sacks of Coco Peat into the dustbin which is now about half full, and I have brought a couple of square flower buckets home so I can hydrate a few more blocks and transport to the allotment whilst it's still possible to park near the gates. 

Brought Harvest & seed trays and modules home with me.

Saturday 1 August 2015

Onion End Rot

Went to the allotment with some compost and harvested the rest of the onions as it looks like the white end rot was spreading, and it was. So I now have shed loads of onions and spring onions trimmed washed and drying on the draining board getting ready for the fridge. Some will be distributed around the family.