Sunday 27 January 2019

Tulips & Fire

I was fairly pissed off that I would not be able to get on with painting the timber joist that are to be used as bed edging when I awoke at 7am to rain.

The forecast was for it to rain all morning until about 11am, however no one had told the weather that the forecast had changed and come 8:00am it started to get a bit brighter and the rain stopped.

So a mad dash to a very cold and damp plot to see what could be done. The mass of Tulips have been sitting in shed since I bought them to go into the transition beds from Plot 1A to Plot 1 which unfortunately are still not ready yet 

I filled all but three rows of bed 13 with Daffs a couple of weeks ago, this morning those 3 rows were planted with Tulips 

The long and short terracotta coloured plastic pots have been sown with Tulips  

I really could not have left the tulips in the shed anymore, I found half a dozen large black pots and have probably put too many tulips in together but it will have to do for this year.  

Dam I didn't notice the last pot I used was smaller than the others

As I was running out of compost and needed to get to the sack near the potting bed that was covered in bamboo canes, I decided to screw the two brackets I made from the tops of flower buckets to the side of the shed so that I can stack all the 1.2m canes neatly out of the way.  

I managed to greatly reduce the size of the Hawthorne in the middle and have reduced the one nearest to the shed to a stump. The middle one and the one at the end of the plot need to be dealt with and burnt before the end of March when we are no longer allowed to have fires.   

I set the contents two incinerators alight and because the material was dry in them, they both burnt with very little smoke, so not a massive change to the look of the allotment, but some progress despite the weather and everything being wet.

As it hit 1pm the rain started all over again, so a quick tidy and home for Sunday lunch.

Sunday 20 January 2019

More Cutting & Painting

A dry Sunday so the cutting of timber to 2.5m and 1.2m length continued and I managed to get the remainder of the sweetcorn stalks cut up and put in the Dalek along with some Coffee Grounds and leafs from the middle of the plot. Painted timbers were stacked on the floor and the new timbers stacked on the saw horses and the painting started. 

Sunday 13 January 2019

January Plot Tour

I'm going to try and do a Plot Tour midway through each month as I hopefully get Plot 1 under control and hopefully get Plot 1A ready for the 2019 Growing Season 

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Another Couple of Hours Painting

Little and often is the way to make progress, however it looks like I have a Ronseal Product that does not do what it says on the tin. One coat my arse, I'm defiantly going to need two to get a decent coverage on the boards.

So Progress made and many boards shuffled and painted and some of them have now had a single coat on all six sides, but looks like at least another 2 - 4 hours worth of painting is going to be required before this first batch of boards are done and ready to go in the ground in their final resting place. 

I also managed to shift some woodchip from the pile to the area beside the shed where I was beginning to wear through the weed membrane.

View from the boundary wall 

View up the allotment from the entrance gate 

Monday 7 January 2019

Planning and Reviewing January in Previous Years

Reviewing the diary over the last Six years for January

2013 - Infrastructure works, Laying concrete 43 slab paths and patio area, Collecting Leafs  
2014Infrastructure works, Plastic edging from the Window Factory, Digital Thermometers from Lidl, dismantle a greenhouse, Bean trench, Chitting Potatoes, Onions from seed  

2015 -  Coir Blocks from Poundland, Onions from Seed, Spacesaver Greenhouse, Chitting Potatoes, Onions from seed. Allotment Winter Tidy Up   

2016 - Infrastructure works base for the Shed on Spencer Road, Sarpo Spuds arrive end of January, and were set chitting

2017 - Infrastructure works, Laying concrete slabs, Base for the patio area on Spencer Road,  Digital Thermometers from Lidls for the additional green house and Grow Station, Tomato Compost & Coir to the plot as soil conditioner

2018 - Infrastructure works covering the plot with weed membrane, Moving infrastructure materials like kerb stones from Spencer Road to Mill Green, Worked out the Tomato Grow List for 2018 after receiving the GYO Seed Circle packs, Overwintering Spring Onion experiment and walking onions in the greenhouse. Updates the Gardeners Guidance publication for idverde & LBS, Beast from the East & Terracotta Pot Heater in the greenhouse.     
To Do List  

Below is the to do list in no particular order and catching up with what actually happened in November and what has slipped. 

Mill Green - Plot 1
  • As much infrastructure works as the weather will allow 
  • Water Butts - Fix taps 
  • Guttering to Shed - TBD
  • Extension to shed - rear - built minor modification required   
  • Cut Roof Joists to bed sizes - Ongoing
  • Make Bread Tray Saw Horses - Done
  • Paint Joist cut to bed sizes - Ongoing 
  • Lay the paving for the greenhouse - TBD 
  • Erect the greenhouse - Timbers Cut for base need to be treated  
  • Tidy Up the Allotment - Ongoing and looking better all the time
  • Remove Hawthorne bushes from the wall - TBD
  • Install Kerb Edging all around the plot - TBD
  • Stockpile Timber ready for burning  - Ongoing
  • Install Flower Beds - TBD   
  • Plant Spring Bulbs - TBD

Mill Green - Plot 1A
  • Weeding - Never ending job   
  • Clear the greenhouse - To Be Done 
  • Rhubarb Bed to be created - clearance of weeds in current location and move when ready
  • Tidy Up the Allotment - Ongoing and looking better all the time 
  • Clear area behind the Greenhouse - TBD
  • Clear Seating Area - TBD
  • Plant Raspberries - TBD
  • Planning
  • Catalogue Seeds 
  • Purchase vent opener for new greenhouse.- Not Yet

Sunday 6 January 2019

Painting Raised Bed Timbers

This Sunday I woke up a little later than usual, and there were things to do at home that took priority over the allotment in the morning and I ended up shopping and cooking lunch, but as it was dry I shoe horned in a visit to the allotment in the afternoon and set about painting the timbers that have been cut to bed size. 

As I have a load of timber stacked and ready to cut I really need to get the timbers on the saw horses painted and moved out of the way. The Photos were just before coming home as the light was going, it has to be said the phone cameras theses days are fabulous at making it look much lighter than it was.  

When I left, all the 1.2m timbers are painted, but the 2.5m lengths are only painted on two sides and the ends on the two saw horses in the back of the photo, and only the ends and one edge on the saw horse front left of the picture. So hopefully the weather will remain dry and I can manage to find a couple of hours during the week to get the rest painted.  

Currently on the Saw Horses I have 7 x 1.2m and 16 x 2.5m lengths 

Already painted and off the horses I have 6 x 1.2m and 3 x 2.5m

So that's a total 13 x 1.2m and 19 x 2.5m length before I cut up the pile of timbers stacked on the left of the bay 

I should get a 2.5 & a 1.2m out of those boards on the left so that's another 5 boards of each size which works out at two and a half beds worth. 

There are some shorter boards stacked down the end of the plot that I will be cutting down to 1.2m lengths to make up the 6 number 1.2m lengths I need, which will mean I should have enough timber for 12 Beds. 

Saturday 5 January 2019

Daffodil's finally get planted

I purchased a load of Daffodil and Tulip Bulbs to go into new beds along the interface between Plot 1A and Plot 1, but I haven't been able to get the beds in and now being January and the bulbs have started to sprout I had no alternative but to find somewhere to put them. 

So I cleared bed 13 and placed a 105 hole planting sheet over and have planted 12 rows or 84 bulbs in the bed. 

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Cardboard Drop Off

The first flying visit to the allotment in 2019 was to drop off a large cardboard box to be used to cover the ground, but I could not resist cutting up a few length of timber Joists as bed edging whilst I was there as the timber had dried out nicely since Sunday.  

John came to the site and offered to help be stack some of the longer timbers so that air can circulate and they dry out a bit. Obviously if they are dry on the next visit I will cut up as many as the battery on the circular saw will allow. 

I left the allotment about 45minutes after arriving to make my way home before it got dark, quite happy that I had made some small progress. Little and often and progress will be made.