Sunday 22 October 2023

I Saw A Mouse. Where?

A visit to the allotment this morning with my daughters Emma & Kelly. Kelly came with me and we had problems with the padlock so I gave it the WD40 treatment and eased them both.

I harvested vegetation and frost damage plants and cut them up for my worm farm whilst Emma and Kelly worked on clearing the parsnip bed of the weeds and tops of the parsnips.

Kelly found a mouse and I was surprised didn't freak out finding him cute and took photos and video of the little chap. Thing is if he is around he more than likely has 15 - 20 siblings around somewhere !

4 Broad Beans are showing in the seed trays in the potting shed and the temperature in there was around 16 - 17C

Emma harvested more tomatoes from the plot 1 green house to take home.

Finally after 3 years of trying, I've grown an Aubergine ! Yep only one

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Afternoon On The Plot

17th October the day was dry and around 16C and as I was having a reasonable day with regards to fatigue and knowing that I still have potatoes in buckets to harvest before the frost comes and gets them, I went to the allotment after lunch and Emma being on an early came down to help me on the plot.

The temperatures in the potting shed were nice and cosy in the late 20's nearly 30C at the warm end.

Emma made an awesome job of clearing all the weeds from the All Gold boundary raspberry beds.

In total I harvested four buckets of 2nd early potatoes and the size and quantity per bucket varied enormously.

I also did some tomato seed saving.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Half Way Through My Radiation Treatment

Emma informed me that she likes Broad Beans so with space free on the plot it was a no brainer to get some sown. Emma took me to the allotment for a short visit.

I need to get another root trainer kit for next year as they are easier to get the small plants out when potting on.

I have the right sized trowel for every task.

I found my two frames of root trainers in the Plot 1 Greenhouse and the filling and sowing took place in the potting shed.

The three water melons now yellow came home with me today.

A few spuds from a bucket
With my mobility issues at the moment everything takes longer to do than it used too, plus being half way through my radiation treatment I've only got impulse power and no warp capability.
I loved sitting in the direct sunlight with the sun warming my body in addition to the fleece I was wearing and having a natter and a rest from standing with Wally (my plot neighbour) He is a good lad and arranged to leave when I was ready so I didn't have to get out of the car twice to lock the gate behind me.

Saturday 14 October 2023

Tomato That Looked Like A Bum.

Emma is looking after Evie over the weekend so this morning they both popped down to the allotment so that I didn't have to get in and out of the car twice to get into the car park and lock it up after me.

They also helped me take into the allotment four sacks of shredded paper that I have produced over the week whilst sorting out my man-cave broom cupboard office.
Emma & Evie harvested more red tomatoes from the greenhouse, and Evie had great delight in showing me the tomato that looked like a Bum. They then left me to go on their own weekend adventures, taking ripe Butternut squash with them.
I cut up over ripe cucumbers for the worm farm and the little fellows have smashed all the stuff I put in there two weeks ago.
As of this weekend I'm halfway through my radiation therapy and it was awesome to get out of the house and spend the morning on the allotment. I did however fall straight to sleep after lunch for a few hours.
So two Daleks on Bed 6 once again topped up with paper and greens.

The tomato that looked like a Bum

Evie's harvest

I only managed to get one tray of broad beans sown, as I ran out of time and didn't have the right tray down there for the second pack

Friday 13 October 2023

Friday 6 October 2023


This week Radiography staff from the Royal Marsden Sutton went on strike for a day. They would rather not interrupt our care, but the government are not listening to them!.

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) is the trade union and professional body supporting those working within radiography.

If you had an x-ray, MRI or CT Scan, ultrasound, or radiation therapy as a patient going into hospital, 9 out of 10 of you will be seen by a member of the radiography workforce.
Please support the radiography workforce by writing to your MP and ask why the backbone of the NHS is underpaid and undervalued.
I have also been informed by Radiographers at the Royal Marsden that many of the staff there are also being hit by Sadistic Khan's ULEZ as they can't afford to buy compliant cars.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Radiotherapy Treatments

Today I start 5 weeks of Radiation treatment from Monday to Friday at the Royal Marsden in Sutton 

Another Productive Morning

Another productive morning on the allotment with daughter Emma between us We managed to feed my worm farm, clear the potting shed benches ready for butternut squash and melons to stand and ripen.

Team Wooldridge

Two more beds ready for their Winter sleep

A nice harvest of tomatoes, The last of the onions from the drying rack, and the last of the Raspberries. Those All Gold Raspberries are so lush and tasty.

Planning and Reviewing October in Previous Years

Reviewing the diary over the last eleven years for October 

2012 - 19th October I took my first allotment on at Mill Green Plot 1, and got my key to the gate. I started this blog and recorded the state of the allotment before I touched it and then the progress made on the first day trying the clear the plot.

The purpose of the blog was to record my progress and perhaps get some feedback and comments on what I was doing right and wrong and to remind me how much I had actually achieved when I really didn't really feel like I was getting anywhere or moving as fast as I wished. This blog has grown into so much more than my original scope and reason for starting. 

I purchased my first three Allotment books, of many that were to follow, and got my first packs of seeds with two of the books I bought.   

2013 - By the end of September and the start of October this year I had eight beds in place and was still clearing weeds and putting in an infrastructure of paths and beds in place. I created a portable chicken wire hoop frame to stop the site foxes from digging up the beds as I was creating them. 

I had manged to source a number of paving slabs off freecycle. The first formal plan of how the plot was going to ultimately going to be laid out was drawn, and as I worked nearby most dry lunch hours were spent on the plot doing little and often.

I harvested Cabbages and Cauliflowers, Tomatoes and Potatoes and I had real peppers growing in the blow-away greenhouse erected next to the shed and on the 9th of October the company I was working for informed me that my job was at risk and I was on the Redundancy list!.

The end of October was very wet and I recall being very frustrated  that I would not be able to get on with building the infrastructure.  

2014 - September this year had been the driest on record, and I started October by harvesting Marrows for the first time, other harvests included courgettes, Onions, Spring Onions, Carrots, cucumbers then on the 4th & 5th October and we had the first frosts. Continued to harvest runner beans, beetroots and peppers from the greenhouse. Picking up leaves from the pavements and at the end of the month picking Brussel Sprouts and I came up with a neew design for the slug traps.    

2015 - Due to the developments around Mill Green I had taken on an additional plot on Spencer Road Allotment and was working on clearance and infrastructure as well as working on Mill Green Allotment during the start of the month because of the dry and mild weather.  Tomato plants still growing in the greenhouse, Cabbage seeds in modules. 

Keith dropped off loads of Strawberry runners, Cutting down Mustard green manure on plot 1A. Clearing 23B and marking the boundary and the first two beds weeded and installed.    

Harvesting carrots and beetroots and planting cabbage.

2016 - Saving Tomato seeds, Infrastructure works progressing on Spencer Road plot 23B. cutting weed membrane for paths, beds and planting membrane sheets. All the tomatoes in flower buckets in the back garden removed, Green tomatoes in the Space Saver waiting to go red. harvesting King Edward spuds, first frost 8th October and lost some squash to it. Rest of the squash harvested and stored in the shed. Runner Beans cut off at the bottom so those left on the plant can die and dry out and be harvested for seeds. 

Additional beds created at Spencer Road, Break-in's and damage by vandals every other night for a week. then rain stopped their and our play on site. Following a committee meeting we tried to get everyone's email address and set up a Spencer Road Facebook group so we can let people know when we see shed doors open or polytunnels burnt.

Over wintering onion sets in modules, Horse muck delivered  and barrowed to the plot laid on beds and in Daleks to rot down more as too fresh.          

2017 -  I started doing my seed storage box audit and producing lists here on the blog. During the first week of October Redrow finally did the work to create the drop off and pick up area that I managed to negotiate with them. I had made the decision that I was going to keep on Spencer Road long enough to get everything I needed for plot 1 on Mill Green moved over including the Dalek, Shed and bed frames etc. 

My son-In-law helped me remove items from Spencer Road and bring them to Mill Green. 

Clearing beds on Mill Green Plot 1 and putting them to bed. Gross miss management of allotment plots 138 plots that could have been occupied and bringing in revenue.  

I worked out how much weed membrane I was going to need to cover the plot and ordered it off ebay. 

Pumpkins for carving were picked up from Spencer Road and the kerb stones I had transported over were laid on flat along the bottom of plot I defining the boundary. The 29th October was a full day of clearing and burning debris from Mill Green plot 1 

The plan layout for my new kingdom was drafted out in CAD based on the vision I had in my head at the time of taking over the plot.  

2018 -  Not a lot on the allotment front actually happened in October 2018. Three weeks of rain and my brother-in-law Keith who was more like a brother to me was seriously ill and we didn't know it at the time but terminally ill, in hospital during this month so days spent visiting him rather than the allotment. 

2019 -  Woodchips for the paths dropped off, Daughters Wedding stopped allotment play followed by bad and wet weather meant that sorting out seeds and planning next year took place for a week and a half during the middle of the month.  

124 people out of the 429 people on the waiting list that a plot is just waiting for you to view and accept.

In terms of lost revenue as the vacant list are no longer shared I can be exact with figures as in previous years, but assuming the plots are a mix of 250m2 and 125m2 at one end and possibly 250m2 at the other the council is losing revenue of between £9,176 - £11,594 pa which would pay for an admin clerk.

Taking little man Finn down to the allotment to harvest Pumpkins for carving for Halloween Harvesting Mini White Cucumbers & Kiwano's 

2020 -  In My Seedbox series of post started so I could see what seeds I needed. Clearing the shed in prep for the wall to be demolished and replaced with a fence. Rebuilding the extension to the shed now the wall has been replaced with a fence. Winter Squash Harvest. So Much Foliage So Little Butternut Squash. Natural Grower Review. Coco Coir Litres to Volume. New Tomato Varieties from D.T.Brown. Research and Planning Square Foot gardening.  

2021 -  In My Seedbox undertaken during this month as not a lot of visits possible due to a lot of rain with Spencer Road Allotment flooded again, Last of the potatoes harvested, Onions, tomatoes and Raspberries    
2022 -  In My Seedbox undertaken, lots of wet weather and inability to get cover to look after Jen so mot many visits this month. Andy Emma and I hit the allotment and harvested Suttons Depurple Cauliflowers and Cabbages, runner beans 

October is normally the month for last harvesting and overwintering plus bonfires to clear the blighted foliage and if the weather holds infrastructure works and closing down beds for the Winter months.