Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sins and Forgiveness

 OK, so my worst "bad allotmenter" sin - confession time here, and it's a serious one - is the mass of bindweed that I've allowed to grow in the hedge at the top of my plot over the last 3 or 4 years.
I could see that not only was it going crazy on my plot, but it was also spreading to the next door plots too. It just seemed too out of control for me to get a grip on. 

I know ...

Amazingly my neighbours are far too nice to have ever mentioned it (I was not surprised when chatting to John yesterday I found out he was a churchgoer - I'm sure I've been testing his forgiveness and his "love thy neighbour" to the limit!) But now that I have tackled it properly - I put a picture in a few posts ago of all the roots I dug out of there recently - Ralph (my neighbour from the other side) came over with some encouragement and a cunning plan. He says he's going to dig up the stuff on his plot too, and then we should grass over the area leading up to the hedge, and if anything pops up we just mow it down again. Not rocket science, but not something that had occurred to me! I grass-seeded it yesterday, and put a net over it and was encouraged to see that it had rained last night. Who knows, it might just work ...
Ralph was not only generous with his wisdom, but offered me a load of raspberry canes that he was going to chuck. Far too good an opportunity to miss, and I put a whole row in when I was up there last week. There are green buds on them already, so I must give him a pot of jam in return at the end of the season.
Spring is finally on the way it seems. Here's what it looks like on my plot.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Table

 Ok, so I might not have any seedlings yet, but I have finished my latest DIY project - The Salad Table.

It started life as a pallet that some paving slabs were delivered on, and I'm upcycling it (SO not a real word) to give it a second chance!
I'm really hoping that having a slug proof continual source of salad leaves just outside the back door through the summer might be good for both wallet and waistline! We'll see. 
Anyway the first part of the project is complete - the building - here are some pictorial highlights! All 3 of the kids lent a hand at some point. Small got stuck in with a paintbrush, (with predictable consequences!) and Medium was very persistent and useful with an electric screwdriver. A nice bit of Father/Son DIY bonding! Large helped out near the end too.

Went for a kind of distressed, blue, shabby beach hut chic look!

Going to line it with black cloth, fill it with a soil/compost mix, plant some salad mix and see what happens! Anyone got any salad leaf seed mixes they recommend?

finished - what a beauty huh!?

Friday, 8 March 2013

Slow out of the blocks?

So I keep looking at everyone's blogs, and they've got greenhouses full of leek and onion seedlings that look about a foot tall. And I haven't planted anything!

It's only March right!?

Am I behind already?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The roots of all evil

A barrow full of bindweed and nettle roots from the top of the plot near the hedge. Better out than in I reckon!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A Job well planned ...

... is a job half done, as my great grandfather used to say. Always sounded very wise until someone told me he was teasing my grandfather for not just getting on with the job in the first place.
That's not to say planning the allotment year isn't one of the best bits. I didn't do it last year, and it showed. 
But last night was great. Just me, Andi Clevely, Dr D.G Hessayon and the organic gardening catalogue website! 
That's not to say any of these things will actually happen, but I'm excited. Excited about the thought of having an entire legume bed, sorting out my compost system, building a salad table, nurturing 2 different types of sprouting brocc, and interplanting them with summer cabbage. And my anti-slug plans ... well more of them later!

Anyway - I've commited to these in digital ink now - so you can mock me when they don't happen.

Happy planning!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Green shoots

Was up at the plot yesterday - some things are growing!
Some bulbs are poking through, the rhubarbs's back, and the leeks are still hanging in there. An encouraging start to the year.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Save the Dahlia!

Went up on Sunday to survey the wilderness. Actually not too bad, but a lot of very apparent jobs that need doing. Leeks diappointingly small. Dug up the Dahlia tuber anyway just in case it's still redeemable and did some research:


He's a very helpful man, but being a bad allotmenter of course I don't have a "one-gallon Ziploc bag filled with one-third vermiculite and 2 tablespoons of a fungicidal powder" ! ...and I couldn't see "eyes" on any of them. Still they're wrapped in newspaper and in a box in the loft, and I guess they may survive. I'l let you know.