Days after Storm Arwen first caused major disruption across the UK, the impacts of the severe weather continued to be keenly felt today, as around 66,000 homes remained without power and the bodies of dead seal pups continued to wash up on Scottish shores.
Monday 29 November 2021
Wednesday 24 November 2021
Sunday 21 November 2021
A good morning on the plot, a little cooler than last week with warnings of sub zero temperatures next weekend. I was up bright and early and down on the plot by about 8:14. Today I originally had two prospective plot holders coming to view the two now vacant plots on the site. I sent a message to the first couple that I had arrived and then got on with the task of gathering leaves from the drop off and pick up area (aka the car park, but we are not allowed to call it that) and filling the leaf cage to the brim.
I watered and damped down as I gradually emptied each wheel barrow load and then finally placed the metal mesh trays on top to stop them from blowing out of the cage.
Magda and her husband arrived a little after 9:00 and we proceeded to look at both of the vacant plots 14 & 7, both have their pro and cons and they quickly decided on taking over plot 7&7A as they were looking for a full plot and one half is already an established orchard with trees and fruit.
I saw the lonely green Dalek offered on Freecycle Saturday night and asked the poster if I could have it, and he said come and get it. Turned out he was in Wallington where my daughter and son-in-law live, so I messaged Andy and asked him if he could collect in his van on his way to the plot this morning.
So I now have two additional Daleks standing behind Dalek Army 1, waiting to get in line with the rest of the other Green Daleks. One will replace the rotating Dalek and the other a black one that has gone brittle and seen better days.
Andy and I sawed a broken Water butt down that is going to be filled with sand and used to grow bugs bunny type long carrots. Its standing under the lighter Dalek which will be it's home once the Dalek is moved into its final location.
The second person on the waiting list Rachael could not come as she has caught Covid, but have said they will just take the plot as they have been on the list a long time. They asked me to take photos which I did and sent them over to her.
Andy worked on weeding and putting beds 8-11 to sleep for Winter. The planting membrane has been folded up and stored but as we have no running water at the moment to clean them, I may take the Worx hydroshot down and connect it to a water butt and jetwash the planting membrane.
I attacked the comfrey bed and cut up a number of plastic trug loads that went into three Daleks on plot 1A and two Daleks on Plot 1. I also brought down a 10 litre bucket of shredded paper with me this morning that was deposited in a Dalek on plot 1.
I took the Ryobi strimmer with a 4Ah battery to the path between plots 1&2 which should now be it's last cut until spring. I managed to cut the full length of the plot and the battery lasted about 20 - 25minutes.
View from the top of Plot 1A looking down to the main path and Dalek Army 1A
Andy and I moved the the mesh panels from on top of the timber up against the scaffold tubes on the Raspberries, so that I can now get at the section of ground between the Square Foot Gardening Beds and the stacked timber, to weed, membrane and lay the paving slabs behind.
We moved the two greenhouse frames from beside bed 11 and placed them just behind the Dalek Army on plot 1. I started cutting down the self seeder, tall tree down that was growing in front of my first apple tree on plot 1A.
In the photograph above the items stacked on the beds on the right of the path need to be sorted, thrown or repurposed so that the beds are clear ready for next year. The bed that has all the buckets and milk bottles of sand on will go to the cut down water butt once I have melted or drilled a few drainage hole in it. I did remove the tap so I know that along with the crack in the bottom of the water butt there is a way out for the water.
I want to make up some cold frames over the Winter months to fit the secondary glazing panels I have to use on the beds and help warm up the soil and get a faster start sowing and growing next year.
Friday 19 November 2021
My newsfeed has been warning me for some time about an artic wind and the possibility of snow over the UK, first it was anticipated and reported to take place on the weekend of the 13th & 14th of November, which didn’t happen and in fact, I was on the plot on Sunday the 14th November in a tee shirt with a fleece tied around my waist to keep my back warm as we worked, it was quite sunny and warmish for the time of year.
Now the warnings to Brits of freezing temperatures and heavy snow to fall across swathes of the country from next week keep popping up but they are other news media just regurgitating the Express post.
The Met Office has updated its forecast for next week and warned “snow likely across higher ground and possibly falling to low levels at times"., telling the Express newspaper that temperatures could fall by 10 degrees after 7C-10C highs at the weekend.
This information is based on WXCharts maps are showing snow first hitting the north of the UK and then moving south over the following couple of days.
After a largely mild November, the cold weather is set to come from Arctic winds which will bring freezing temperatures and has slashed odds on it becoming the coldest November on record and the betting odds have been slashed.
Temperatures could be around zero or 1C in parts of the country Monday 1st December, WXCharts maps suggest.
Looks like snow is going to hit Scotland on Sunday 28th November
Getting thick in the highlands of Scotland, moving into Ireland and Mid West UK on Monday.
Sweeping down into Wales Tuesday 30th November
1st Dec looking like the worst of the snow may be over and receding in England.
Looking at the Weather based on the Allotment Postcode looks like coldest days will be Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th November. Ventusky is showing some really cold weather in Scotland and the rest of the UK
The Perceived Temperatures with the wind chill factor don't look good at all !
Thursday 18 November 2021
Black Friday is upon us guys and Equigrow have a 20% discount off ALL PRODUCTS starting from today! Get your orders in for this Christmas
Tuesday 16 November 2021
Monday 15 November 2021
Sunday 14 November 2021
View Up plot 1A, the two beds in the middle of the photo were worked on today Andy cleared the Sweetcorn and cut it all up and added it to a Dalek then weeded, raked added a little slug pellets and covered the bed for Winter.
I managed to harvest the beetroots on the bed next door, but rain stopped play and I didn't manage to remove and clean the planting membrane and cover the bed for Winter. The rest of the beds on Plot 1A need to be closed down for Winter and the debris from the boundary wall works needs to be dealt with and a general tidy up ready for next Spring.
Saturday 13 November 2021
Busy morning, took the paving slabs picked up yesterday afternoon down to the allotment. Laid two paths and distributed the rest around the Square Foot Gardening Beds to go in over the Winter during the "Infrastructure works period" of the year.
Came home cut up two Pallets and took them down to the allotment.
Forgot to photograph this last week when it looked fuller but the leaf collection for 2021 is looking good.
Friday 12 November 2021
Thursday 11 November 2021
My Maincrop potatoes this year were Mayan Rose A new variety and an offspring between the well know Phurejas varieties, Mayan Twilight and Mayan Gold.
And try I did and this is half of what I got out of a 2.4 x 12m bed on the plot, after discarding the worse of them, so they were right in that the yield may not be the best, as for the taste I still have to try them.
These potatoes Originate from the Andean valleys in South America, Phurejas potatoes benefit from a longer growing period than other varieties, ideally planted in warm soil at the end of March and harvested in September. My harvesting was a little later that should have been, as these were harvested last weekend.
“Mayan Rose has a striking and unique coloured skin,” Granted they are like a Friesian cow of potatoes, and very attractive to look at on the web sites and the catalogues. “cooking quickly when boiled and also ideal for mashing, roasting and wedges”. Noted on the cooking quickly.
Good disease resistance in particular to blight, potato cyst nematode and splitting.
What they didn’t mention was that they appear to have little or no wire worm resistance at all!
Wireworms are the larvae of the click beetle. The larvae grow up to 25 mm in length and are orangey/brown in colour with a narrow, segmented body, biting jaws and 3 pairs of short legs behind the head. ... It has been estimated that there are more than 60 species of click beetles in the UK.
Wireworm attack is annoying, but it's not a disaster and there's no point over-reacting when you see it. In larger potatoes the holes are small enough to cut out, and normally the pests that created the holes have long since vanished.
A few of the larger holes may had been occupied by homeless millipedes. Most of the potatoes will be fine to eat with a bit of careful peeling. The problems will arise when it comes to storage. Those tiny holes will make the potatoes vulnerable to spoiling when they're stashed away in their large paper bags in the shed over the next few months.
If Mayan Rose are as vulnerable to wireworm as they appear, I'm going to have to look for an alternative maincrop next year no matter how nice they taste. I’ve also come to the conclusion that growing all the potatoes is the way to go for me next year.
Some words of wisdom from John Nicholson on the Mind Your Peas & Cues Facebook group
There's not much resistance against wireworm to be had.