Sunday 27 June 2021

Pauline's Plots

These are some photos of my sister-in-laws two plots 6 & 7 on Mill Green. I took these so she could see what state her plot is currently in as she has not been able to get too it for a little while. 

Path between plot 6 (Vegetable Beds) on the left and plot 7 (Orchard & Fruit) on the right  

Looking into plot 6, many of the vegetable beds have not been used this year as Pauline has been in the process of moving house. Paul who currently has 6A & 7A is going to give up plot 7A and taking over plot 6 was supposed to start using the beds, however Michelle on plot 5 has taken advantage of some of the free beds. The wood chipped paths are gradually returning to grass.  

View from the path between plots 5 & 6 looking at plot 6 and plot 7 the fruit and orchard in the background 

Fruit Tree in the Orchard.

Digging 'n' Weeding & Weeding

Early Sunday visit to the plot today and two plastic trugs of weeds from the paths and Raspberry beds removed. Having noticed how well the Rhubarb is doing and how crowded the single bed is now looking, I started clearing the area where the other Rhubarb beds are going of weeds.

Having cleared as many weeds as possible I managed to get in the path between the two Rhubarb beds and trimmed and covered the remainder in a hope of killing off the foliage a little.

Last Quadgrow filled with 15 litres of water that had stood in the greenhouse.

Raspberry beds and paths looking nice and weed free again at least for another week. I'm sure there will be more mares tail coming up shortly.

Digging and weeding the path between the Rhubarb beds. 

I dug the path width plus about 200mm before raking and compacting the soil in the area of the path and laying weed membrane specifically cut to go between the Rhubarb beds. 

Woodchips taken from the pile I had made in the corner of the plot, and compacted with the front of the rake.  

Covered area beside the first two Raspberry beds trimmed and covered with weed membrane .

Beetroot Germination rates looking good.

Gherkin's looking healthy and getting larger, but I really need to see them get climbing that netting.

Saturday 26 June 2021

2nd Tomato Bed & Quadgrow

 First Early morning visit for a week and the weeds have been loving the sunshine and showers over the last week. 2nd Narrow bed of tomatoes planted. The Tomato plant dug up by the foxes has not only recovered it put a bit of weight on and is looking a lot better than last week. Sweetcorn has been loving the weather and the last two tomato plants have been planted in the last two Quadgrow pots. Short visit as my daughter Kelly is helping me hang some wallpaper this afternoon.

Bed cleared raked and covered with the tomato planting membrane. I stole two of the Hydro cups from the first tomato bed to use on the 2nd.

The poor little tomato plant dug out by the fox last weekend

The same little tomato plant the fox dug out last weekend today!

All the quadgrows now have plants, but I have misplaced one of the mulching caps somewhere!

Raspberries have come up but the mares tail and other weeds have also been loving the recent weather. I have some serious weeding to do.

Radish coming on

Main Crop spuds have flowers

First early spuds turning colour

Onion bed needs weeding and where they are bolting the heads need snipping off.

Flowers on the main crop spuds in buckets

Red Onion Bed

White Onion Bed

Beetroot seedings showing more and the sweetcorn growing nicely 

Thursday 24 June 2021

WIN A Waltons Garden Bar Worth £399.99


If I win it then it will go to the allotment and I will make it into a potting shed. it will also provide shade behind it as I have no where to hide from the sun now the trees have been removed by the property next door. 

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Watering Advice

It's not quite as straightforward as some people think.

90% of health-related plant questions are due to watering, and of those, probably 90% are down to overwatering. So, if you want to learn a thing or two, read on...

1. ALWAYS water a plant in its existing pot BEFORE you plant it. The rootball needs to be full of water before you plant it - if it isn't, the rootball will stay dry despite watering afterwards, often leading to failure. And you must water it once you've planted it too, to add extra moisture to the surrounding soil and settle the soil around the rootball.

2. Roots are stimulated by DRY conditions, not wet ! Plant roots grow in order to seek out water. If they stay wet, there is no stimulus to grow, and more often than not, it will result in root rot and failure. The best way to water [most] plants is to soak them, and then allow the soil to dry out before you water them again. We generally advise against "a little bit every day" !

3. Garden soil stays damp longer than soil in pots, especially heavy soil - so you don't need to water your garden borders as frequently as your pots.

4. Young plants are far more at risk of overwatering than mature plants - the small root systems cannot cope with being constantly wet. As plants mature with bigger root systems, they become far more robust and able to cope with whatever Mother Nature throws at them !

5. You can't beat the "finger test" for checking the moisture levels in your soil. If your finger is damp when you've put it in the soil, rest assured the plant will go another day without water !

6. A plant suffering from overwatering will collapse and wilt, but so will a plant that is too dry. The way to tell the difference is the finger test - and a dry plant will spring back up within an hour or two after watering - a wet plant won't, and if it's collapsing due to overwatering, it may be too late to save it

7. Finally, a word about Bamboo - its about the only plant where you can ignore points 1 to 6 ! Bamboos love water, and its almost impossible to overwater them. When you water them, give them at least a whole watering can.

And if you have to grow bamboos in pots, give them as big a pot as you can and be prepared to water them daily once they are established. Bamboos, especially the bigger species, will be much much happier when planted in the ground. Whereas most plant related issues that we discuss come down to overwatering, with bamboos its always - ALWAYS !! - down to underwatering.

The good new is that, once bamboos are established, they generally look after themselves (apart from when they're in pots !)
Hope that helps some of you who are learning about gardening ?

Monday 21 June 2021

Making The Greenhouse into a TARDIS !

This morning I turned my Greenhouse on plot 1 into a TARDIS! and set up the Quadgrows.

The capillary matting installed I filled the bottom 25-30 mm of the pots with coir and then used the Miracle Grow Peat Free Fruit and Vegetable compost. I used the bulb planter to remove the vending machine cup sized hole and planted the young tomatoes at depth so that the first true laves were on the mulching caps.

In the time I had this morning I only managed potted up into 6 of the 8 pots available on the Quadgrows.

The remaining tomatoes for the Quadgrow and the second Narrow Bed are with the extra courgettes resting in a bath of water until my next visit, which may not be until late Friday or Monday as I don't have anyone to keep an eye on the wife this week.

White Net Curtain wire cord and hook and eyes at ridge and eves level combined with Greenhouse Insulation / Shading support clips on the middle mullion on slopes and on the gable end internally. Thermometers mounted on the side and gable walls off the shading support clips and a small S hook formed out of wire.

The blue 2m wide scaffolding debris netting is ideal to provide shading to the plants as this greenhouse get the sun all day. I cut enough to go up the wall, over the roof and back down the other wall. and then a section long enough for the gable end from corner to corner.

The clips in the corner are not supposed to be used as I have but I was improvising and needed a way to hold the edges in place. I will have to wait and see how resistant they will be to airflow and high winds.

Greenhouse Insulation / Shading support clips needed a washer or some packing so again I made some washers out of cardboard cutting the slots with a Stanley knife.  

Debris netting curtain rail hooks used unconventionally around the edges to hold the debris netting in place.

All in all I was most please with the TARDIS look that the greenhouse has now taken on, and I have to say it looks a whole lot better than the green netting I had on the outside of the greenhouse on Plot 1A before I removed it and jet washed the greenhouse.

Photo when the plot 1A greenhouse was first covered, the debris netting weathered over the years made the greenhouse mucky and finally split on the gable end. The plot 1A greenhouse will get the same internal netting make over during the winter months.

Meanwhile on the plot...... The Bloody foxes had dug out my crimson crush tomato and torn the planting membrane in the process. The poor plant didn't look healthy and I have no idea how long it had been laying there. She was re potted into the ground and watered. most of the 2.5 Litre Hydro Cups were empty or near too it.

The sweetcorn appear to be liking the rain over the past weeks and are growing nicely.

The Gherkins (National) are working there way up to the bottom of the climbing frame and so far are resisting slug & snail attacks.

I spotted some activity in the Beetroot bed

The seeds I sowed last week are germinating, lets just hope they don't become snail or slug food!

In the evening as it was dry I made another Tomato Narrow Bed Planting Membrane for the second narrow bed and the tomatoes that are in the greenhouse waiting to be planted out. I also trimmed up a 2.4m x 0.6m Blank that was on the first Narrow bed and made a second 2.4m x 0.6m Winter Blank from the large end of roll I had in the brick store.

Thursday 17 June 2021

Potting Up Tomatoes


Today I managed to move the Micro and Mini Tomatoes from their vending machine cups and potted them on into 127mm 5" pots and get a selection of tomatoes planted out into buckets just before it started raining again.

Some of the Micro Toms already have flowers growing. 

Half have been potted up using Dalefoot Wool Compost for Potting which is a blend British Wool, Bracken & Comfrey The other half have been potted up using Westlands New Horizon Tomato Planter made with BIO3. It's going to be interesting to see what difference the different composts make to the growth and development of the plants.  

Due to the additional store I won in a Waltons competition there is a reduction in Tomatoes grown at home in the back garden from 22 Flower Buckets to just 10 Buckets this year. The City Jungle that I erected during the pandemic in 2020 remains in the back garden as do the two self watering pots. 

I have two Quadgrows so 8 pots in Plot 1 Greenhouse and six plants out on the two narrow allotment plot, which makes 27 plants in all growing this year excluding the Micro & Mini Varieties in the Space Saver greenhouse. 

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Blight Resistant Tomatoes

Early morning visit to Avalon (my allotment plots) to water before the sun comes racing up from the entrance path to the back of plot 1A. I also managed to get the tomato planting membrane laid down and planted Crimson Crush, Crimson Plum & Crimson Cherry.

Now people will understand why I put in four watering points in the membrane I made yesterday, as each one has a 2.5 litre Hydro Cup to slowly release the water into the ground and keep it nice and moist under the planting membrane for the tomato roots.

For more details about the Hydro Cups see

I was also really happy to see one of the entrance Agapanthus putting up a flower. I will be building a coupe of bed frames for the two plants to grow into.

The 75mm or 3" Spring Clamps that I had bought arrived today, so I took the opportunity with the bad weather warning for Thursday and Friday to use them to clip the netting to the blue water pipe just above the bed frame so that I don't loose any netting cover like I during the last high winds.

The new hosepipe splitter was fixed to the tap at the water butt as the old one had given up the ghost. It reached 29C today so everything got watered again especially the potatoes in buckets that were looking a little under the weather.