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  :(

Sunday 6 September 2015

Sweetcorn, Beetroot & Butternut Sqaush Harvest

It's been getting very cold with temperatures down in single figures the last few days and it's been raining on and off all week and I have not really been able to get down to the allotment to do anything.

Sunday morning and it's sunny and dry so a visit to plot 1A to harvest sweetcorn, beetroot, cucumbers the horizontal one measures 17", tomatoes and a butternut squash.

In just over a week the grapes are turning from green to purple which is quite amazing seeing as they were supposed to be white!  

My Brother in law has not picked up a key for the new allotment so I went with them to let them in and to get on with some more clearing for 23B. I managed to clear the path down the centre to just before the shed and pulled a lot of bind weed up.

I'm really very impressed with the quality if the soil it's dark and rich but contains quite a lot of stones. The allotment was originally a water cress bed and I'm informed that at just over a spade depth it's all stone. I'm a little worried about the amount of comfrey coming up on the neighbours plot and I may de-flower the plants as I don't believe them to be the brocking 14 variety.

Keith used his bush cutter to clear the path at the rear of my plot and I intend to sort out the back and put in the comfrey beds as my plan as soon as I can. I may also woodchip behind my section of the access path for ease of maintenance in the future.

Keith and I met our neighbour who came down with his wife and children and he is delighted that both plots have been taken by people who are serious about keeping on top of them.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Tomato Splits

Well the red tomatoes have been coming thick and fast for the last two weeks but with all the rain we have been having I'm getting loads of split tomatoes

I've never been into making tomato soup but suggestions on one of the forums I'm on suggest freezing them

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Playing around with the plot in my mind

Popped down to Plot 1A to dispose of the kitchen compost and picked up a couple of 2.4m battens to help me set out on plot 23B. Picked up a tube of slug pellets and slug traps as the plot and the daleks are full of snails and I want to start eradicating as soon as possible.

As I got to 23B and placed the timber on the ground to measure out the beds and path the heavens opened up and I had to take shelter in a polytunnel a couple of plots up from mine that was open thankfully. Then when the rain reduced I beat a hasty retreat to the car and came home.

Lunchtime I tweaked the layout a little and have included the leaf bins and the comfrey and nettle water butts and tweaked the layout to give me some storage area and somewhere for the table and chairs to go. It also makes the patio area about the same size as it was and means I'm not shifting loads of hardcore and stones.

I then marked up the watering hose layout based on what I have already at Mill Green.