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.